Almost 25 years ago I was born into a nice Catholic family. If you’re not Catholic, this means birth control was something that only sinners used. So according to those rules, our family grew faster than most rabbit families. This left me among 14 aunts and uncles, 35 first cousins and still counting. I’ve become quite accustomed to tripping over children running in between my legs and amounts of food only ever seen in a military mess hall. These things are what I will remember years from now. This weekend was packed full of catching up, breaking the dance floor and lots of laughter.
But one of my most grateful moments these past few days (besides all of the wedding festivities) was after the ceremony and party. It was the day when most of the guests headed home and after all the garbage was picked up. I sat in a swinging chair only listening to the waves crash to the shore of Ham Lake. I must have closed my eyes for a brief moment because when I opened them my grandfather was sitting right next to me pushing the swing with his feet, almost to make sure that I would never stop swinging. We sat there for about another hour as I listened to stories of him growing up on our family dairy farm (the same place I grew up). He spoke of his parents and siblings. He lit up when telling me about his machine classes in high school. And sounded proud when he turned down a machining job in Milwaukee to help out and eventually buy the farm from his parents. He became so passionate telling me the stories that made him the man, the grandfather, that he is to me today. He turns 80 years-old in a month. With that many years gone by I can’t wait to hear many more stories that will carry through the coming generations.
Take time to listen to your elder’s life adventures. I guarantee that you’ll be surprised and cherish every word. Maybe even learn a thing or two. Besides, you only get one family. Take advantage of the love, beauty and fun of your clan.
Happy beginning of the week! As always make every day count!