Familia (from archive)

(NOTE: I’m trying to consolidate my different blog postings all at one place. These entries from other blogs will be posted here with the dates of their original posting.)

(DATE: Nov. 27, 2007)

I got a phone call today.

My wife’s aunt, who she’s barely ever seen (and I don’t think I’ve met), was put on life support today.

And just like that, everything stops.

If I wanted to be melodramatic, I’d end the blog here, but I think that’s a bit emotionally manipulative, so I won’t do that. But it would get the point across.

Family is IMPORTANT. Way more important than I ever understood growing up. You know, it’s odd… I was complaining to Jami about the Thanksgiving I spent with my family.

Why? Too many people I don’t know, that’s why.

You see, I have four older sisters, all married. They all have their own kids. Now, when I was younger, a family Thanksgiving might have 20 people, and while it would be crowded, it would be fun, because I knew everyone, and there was a lot of catching up to do.

Now, however, my nieces and nephews are getting older. Some of them are married… some are dating. And the ones who are dating don’t always date the same people.

This year, for Thanksgiving, I think there were between 45 and 50 people at dinner. We had to rent a hall. And the frustrating thing to me is that I didn’t know everyone. There were brand new people to meet. And for those of you who know me… I’m pretty driven to meet new people in situations like this… I don’t want anyone to feel unwelcome when they come to visit my family. Who knows… they might become a part of it!

Which is exactly what happens. A dating relationship becomes serious enough so that the significant other gets invited to the extended family Thanksgiving… and just so that “other” person doesn’t feel too uncomfortable, they invite THEIR family as well.

My head was spinning, trying to keep track of who was who, and who belonged with whom, and what were the relational ties between everyone. (next year, I’m volunteering to write a database, and make everyone color-coded badges so it’s easier to keep track of everyone.)

So, why was I frustrated? Because I wasn’t *expecting* to be “on”. I wasn’t expecting to go into “WOO” mode (Winning Others Over – it’s a StrengthsFinder thing) at my own family’s get-together.

But now with that phone call, it kind of puts things back into perspective. It’s precisely that accepting nature, that “hey, sure, bring ’em along, we’ll find a spot at the table” that I’m so glad has become a part of my family.

God’s family is supposed to be like that. Is that where the Backell clan gets it? Could be… my parent’s weren’t devout that I ever recall, but all of my sisters and I are very active followers of Christ.

So… the phone call. I took the kids to school, so Jami could be with her parents as they went to visit Dad’s sister in the hospital. Apparently, it was touch-and-go for a while, but she’s doing better.

So… if you’re reading this, would you toss up a simple prayer for Carol Joyce and her health – and her family… which, as I was reminded today, includes Jami and I.

Oh, and go hug your kids/parents/brothers/sisters/whoever. You never know.

And no, I’m not being morose, or emotionally manipulative with that statement. I’m just sayin’.


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