I could make a pretty deep Venn-diagram for the two sides of my family. It would have a lot written in each part. The two sides of my family share so many things: both are big but tight-knit. Both love to have fun. I come right in the middle of the cousin line-up on both sides. Both have strong family cultures formed by strong, bright parents (who are my grandparents), and carried on by more strong, bright parents (my aunts, uncles, and my mom and dad), and instilled in more strong, bright people (my cousins, from the ones who are starting their own gorgeous little families to the ones who are being potty-trained).
Family is such a beautiful thing. And when I say strong, and bright, I mean it. I am surrounded by people who are strong. They don't have easy-breezy lives but they live with such tenacity, such strength for each other. This week, at the family reunion for my mom's side of the family, I have felt keenly the silver threads that connect us -- connect us to one another and to the other side of the veil.
And I have felt these people's brightness. Both sides of my family, in fact, are loaded with people who are extremely smart. But even more significantly, they are light-bright. They have the shining power of faith and love and hope in their lives. It's such an exquisite thing to be a part of.
It feels unfair -- why do I get such light-filled, happy nests of love to be raised in, while there are so many who don't? It is something I don't understand - makes my heart hurt - but I do know that I am inexpressibly grateful for my families, and that I believe in families. So much, that makes my heart hurt too.