Thursday, September 10

Family Connections

I've always been a bit jealous of people who are surrounded by a large extended family. When I hear of family get-togethers, going down the street to visit grandma, or hanging out with cousins, I become envious.

I'm close to my immediate family...(most of time) we really enjoy being around one another. We still get together every Sunday for lunch...just the six of us. But I am not close to my extended family nor have I ever felt super close to them. The big reason is the fact that my parents moved away from them (two states away) before I was born. I've spent my whole life only seeing relatives once or twice a year at most. Granted, just because I do not share my innermost secrets with any of them, I do love and appreciate them and would like to spend time sharing my heart with them.

I find it amusing that despite my desire/longing for close family connections, I anticipate doing the same thing to my kids, if I ever have any. I plan on being a missionary, living a chunk of my life overseas, separated from my immediate and extended family even more. Is there a way to promote closeness even when apart?

Most of my closest friendships are with people who live hours or countries away...I can be close to people despite distances. Maybe the key is that I have spent time with all my friends whereas my time with my extended family has been limited.

All this to say, my cousin is on my heart today. He is a year old than me, married and has a 4 year daughter. He has been battling cancer for about 5 years now. He is not doing well...on life support and his liver tests are worse each time. Is the end near? I pray for healing and know that God has His hand in this situation. Cancer has been prevalent in my family over the last 5 uncle and aunt both died in the course of four months in 2004 from cancer. Another uncle has battled leukemia. And now my cousin is fighting. I may not feel close to my family but I do love heart hurts for them and their families. Maybe praying for family can be a key link into connectedness...despite any distance.

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