by Aleta Kay
We just finished a weekend with family. We get together once a year and spend two and a half days together. We are a very diverse family. Some of us are Christians. Most of us are not. Our jobs and lives are as varied as this country. Some have college degrees; some never graduated high school. But acceptance and love abound. There are some differences and sometimes feelings get hurt. Most of the time those things get worked out. Family members travel from as far away as Indiana, or as close as an hour away. A few travel from Oklahoma. We are always happy to get together and sad to see everyone leave.
It breaks my heart to see families who don't get along. I have a co-worker whose dad died and she's broken-hearted because her sisters won't speak to her. My co-worker has lived next door to her parents for many years and has cared for them. Now her sisters are accusing her of taking advantage of their mother and trying to get the inheritance.
I understand sentiment and wanting things with which to remember a loved one when they pass away, but to deny another family member the love they deserve in order to get something out of that death is sad and selfish indeed.
We all have to face the loss of our loved ones eventually, sometimes at a young age, sometimes in their later years, but that passing should draw us closer together, not drive us apart. Loss should create a deeper bond, not selfishness.
Seek the higher road--seek to keep family intact. I once heard a great Christian comedian say, "You can pick your friends but you're stuck with your family." I left a job once because they told me I couldn't go to family reunion. I could (and did) get a new job. I can't get a new family. Think about it.