Monday, December 23, 2013

THE GIFT OF FAMILY part 5 of 5

I am an only child because a major obstetrical disaster directly related to physician blunder prevented my mother from having more children. For the first 18 years of my life ours was a family of three plus, the plus being the occasional aunt, uncle, or cousin who lived with us for several months or more in the farmhouse that my grandfather built.  Between my many cousins and the large family on the farm across the road I was unaware of being an only child during my early years.  It was experiencing the relationships my parents had with my aunts and uncles that instilled in me an appreciation for the bonds of family, bonds of love that withstand the unavoidable conflicts and separations by time and distance.  These same bonds now connect me to my many first cousins and their children.

I remember clearly a time during my high school years when there was a rift between my father and one of his sisters; it lasted about a year and later no one could remember what it was about (at least that is what I was told.)  During that time my father always insisted that I go visit my aunt, and never uttered a disparaging word about her in my presence.  Family was more important to him than any disagreement with his sister.  I find it very difficult to understand how some families can be so torn apart - bonds severed or perhaps never developed.  However, as an only child I suppose I cannot understand the issues and tensions that can develop between siblings.

The Renzullis

The Rondinellis

I am grateful for the family I had, and still have.

These gifts that I have been describing in a most simplistic and brief manner, alone or together are all a reflection of the gift of love.  Without a foundation of love, they would not be possible.  Love is the greatest gift we can give or receive.

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