I am Canadian so we have the pleasure of celebrating Family Day today. A day
to relax, a break from the regular routine and a chance to hang out with those
familiar people who are most dear. For me that is my husband Phil, and two
teenagers Tyler and Shannon. Although I must admit as I am writing this blog the
three of them are still snoozing, but that’s all part of a day off now too isn’t
it? Not only am I very blessed with my own wonderful family, but I have many
incredible extended family members and also many great friends who to me are
just like family. I gave a little plaque to a dear friend of mine on Friday that
said “Friends are the family you choose,” and that is truly the case in regards
to my closest friends.
There are many great TV shows that depict the power of family. I remember some of the greats I enjoyed as a kid like Happy Days, The Brady Bunch, Full House, Little House on The Prairie and Different Strokes. I had a great laugh the other day when one of my students was telling me a cute, yet very lengthy story and I said to her in fun the classic line “What you talkin’ about Willis?” Without missing a beat she replied “Oh yeah! Different Strokes! I love that show!” So shocked she even knew “what I was talking about,” but ahh the power of Netflix! Those shows dealt with common issues families have, yet always gave a sense somehow that as a family they would figure it out and everything would be okay in the end.
Some families in real life are not doing so well however. Their problems are much more complex and cannot be solved in the timeframe of a TV show. Many are dealing with heartache and despair and on Family Day are missing a loved one deeply. Later today I have the sad task of going to the funeral home to pay my respects to a dear friend of mine named Jane. Jane had a passion for life, a deep love for her family and her God, and a constant twinkle in her eye. She would grin from ear to ear at times like she was about to burst with the latest funny story she would like to share. Even when she was diagnosed with brain cancer and was in terrible pain and turmoil, her faith remained steady. She set a pure example of someone who found God’s peace in the midst of the storm for us all. She will be dearly missed as she was loved and respected by so many. My heart is heavy for her family today.
Saying goodbye is so hard. I have heard it said that when you lose a family member it is like a piece of your heart has been ripped right out. Your heart is so broken that you feel you must be wearing your grief like a banner for all to see. I felt this way when I lost my grandparents and it deeply saddened me that my children would never get to know them as I did.
My heart especially goes out to children who are grieving and that is why I am so thrilled that my dream has finally come true of publishing a children’s book regarding this issue to help them through this difficult time. The book is called: Magic Kisses A Grief Journey from Heartache to Hope and is available for sale by contacting me. I read it for the first time to a
group of children this week and could see that they were really listening intently. Afterwards we were able to discuss important people in their lives who they were missing and how they could cope with that. This was exciting for me as that was the whole point of writing the book to help kids give their grief a voice and find healing when they are ready.
Many people suffer in silence with not only their grief but other issues they are struggling with as well. Many people feel they are somehow unique and that no one could ever understand their feelings or despair. In my social work training we learned of the “all in the same boat” scenario. Simply put it spoke of the power of being transparent with each other. When we admit that we too struggle with something, it is so powerful for someone who feels
alone. Struggles are extremely personal yet what seems impossible to overcome for one person, may be extremely easy to solve with someone else's help. This is why we need to share our heart’s cries with people we love and trust. A classic and cute example of this involves when my daughter Shannon was in second grade. She came home one day totally distraught. When I asked what was wrong she proceeded to explain through her sobs that something had happened that day that greatly upset her. She said they were learning about something in math that she found so hard! When asked to elaborate she said “Oh mom, you don’t understand! We are learning about TAKE AWAY! I don’t get it and I never will!” I quickly replied “Take away, as in subtraction? I totally get take away. Actually with being a teacher I am really quite good at it!” The look on her face was priceless! It was like a huge weight had been lifted because someone finally understood, cared and would take practical steps to help her solve her dilemma. People need to know that we will stand with them during their hard times. We may or may not have a solution to their heartache or struggle but our concern and physical presence speaks volumes.
The fact that we can become the answer to someone’s prayer through our practical actions is both exciting and humbling all at that same time. This is what the meaning of true family is, being there for each other through good times and bad. Cherish your family members, even with their flaws and all those amazing friends who are just like family, not just on Family Day but every day. Sometimes we need a reminder of how truly blessed we are!
Galatians 6:2 : Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Little Lesson Learned: Family Day is everyday! Let’s celebrate these special
Copyright: Littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2014