Family is essential. "Family" makes us who we are... for better and for worse. In my experience, that has always been for the better. Yes, there have been trials and tribulations, yet even those tribulations have been woven in to the fabric of who and what we are. There are two pictures in this blog. They were taken this weekend and are quite different. Yet when you look at them, and understand what is happening in them, they deliver the same message.
This first picture is of my husband Russell and his cousin Jim. After being on the market for over a year, Russell's Mother has finally sold the family homestead and we spent the day on Saturday loading up the last of Russell's things that have been in the house since his childhood. Of course this was a bit bittersweet because we also said goodbye to the house where he grew up... where he became the man he is. The most "important" item we picked up was a tool chest that Russell had inherited from his paternal Grandfather many years ago. It's been stored away in the garage for 25+ years, and his Grandfather used it every day at work. It's the size of a steamer trunk, and being made of wood and filled with iron and steel tools. Needless to say, it is incredibly heavy, and Russell's cousin Jim was on hand to help load it into our truck.
After the trunk was loaded onto the truck, Russell opened it. He and Jim were like two kids exploring a treasure chest. And indeed, it was a treasure. Tools mean nothing to me... but there were so many little things that caught my eye... a couple of photographs, several little booklets and notepads. Tins of band aids, that someone would likely pay a lot for on EBay. There were a pair of safety glasses... Harry Potter type glasses... that were from the 20's. I never knew Russell's grandfather, but his presence was definitely felt. This was his world that we opened up... and there was an amazing connection to who he was. I watched Russell's face, and took the picture (against his wishes of course). Russell was a child when his Grandpa died, and now he's a grown man. I have heard stories of what a wonderful man he was... and I could see the love on Russell's face as he went through his Grandfather's things. It was a truly poignant moment. And in the "theme" of family, to have a cousin from the other side of your family present, offering help merely underlines the importance and specialness of family.
At first glance, the second picture may seem quite odd. I took it the next day as we were driving to Cincinnati to take my sister and her husband to brunch at "The Grand Finale"
in honor of her upcoming 50th birthday. We drove separately and I was feeling silly, and snapped this picture of the side mirror on our truck. If you look in the reflection of the mirror, you'll see my sister's vehicle following behind. Chuckling after I took the picture, I sent her a text saying "there you are!". She couldn't really see the picture on her phone, but in thinking about it, I realized that yes...she is always there, standing behind me, holding me up. And I am there for her in the same regard. And we are blessed because we have the same relationship with our extended families. And that is how it should be! In days gone by, families looked out for each other. It's too bad that not everyone is blessed. And when I look at this picture... originally taken to make a joke, I realize just how blessed we are. And in realizing this, I am going to take more snapshots... and then look at them for perhaps a deeper meaning.
And I thank God, for all of His blessings. When you open your eyes, and really pay attention, it's amazing how often you will notice His presence in all things!