I just returned from our annual Lake Tahoe trip with my family. My grandma used to go with us up until a few years ago when the altitude became a bit much for her. She used to love and look forward to this trip every Summer. Who wouldn’t? It’s absolutely gorgeous in Lake Tahoe and so peaceful. I think what she looked forward to most was spending time with family. It really didn’t matter where we were as long as she could enjoy her family.
Every year we rent a boat and go in the middle of the Lake as a way to honor and be with my deceased paternal grandparents, Rose and Lou and my uncle Art. Those who are fearless, jump in the middle of the freezing cold lake and swim with my late relatives who were cremated and their ashes spread in the lake. I have always been too chicken because I despise cold water. This year something shifted and I jumped. It was the first time ever that I, and everyone in the family and extended family jumped in the middle of the lake to honor my beloved family members. It was a beautiful experience.
The coming together of family to enjoy and honor family is something our culture does not value highly enough. If I have learned anything from my amazing family it is that family is more important than almost anything else. We don’t necessarily choose our families, and in all honesty some relatives are crazy, but when we focus on the good qualities in our loved ones and when we value our relationships with them and we treat them so, something is fulfilled within us on a level that cannot be explained. Do you know what I mean?
In the end, if you have a strong family, there is security, safety and peace of mind knowing you are not alone and will never be. For all the ups and downs family members share, the deep, unconditional love is the glue that cements the unbreakable bond. “The Old Lady” always put her family first and always made us know we each were so special to her. In the end, our matriarch left us with the knowing that she meant the world to us and we would carry on her deep love of family in all our interactions.
How do you show your love and appreciation for family members? Please share that along with the ways in which you are made to feel special by your family.