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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Your Family; My Family

Family: More important than all the wealth in the World!

At the heart of every individual is family.  At one extreme is the family unit that is fully functional and loving, and at the other is the non-functional family at war. Both extremes, and those in the middle are still family that represent the beginning and the end.

I have been priviledged to attend a family reunion on my wife's side which was a loving event. As reunions go, this was a small scale affair, but that gave everyone a chance to interact and to grow a little closer. For many of us it was a welcome opportunity to meet again after many years had passed. The last time I had seen some of the young people they were mere babies, but now they are young adults who have embarked on their career paths.

The meeting took place in Cornwall, England during a period that England was experiencing a heat wave. It was wonderful to see the country actually having a Summer, but just to remind us that we were in England some days were very rainy and quite chilly. However, on the main day of our reunion the weather was perfect for sitting in the garden in a circle and getting caught up with developments.

As is always the case with events of this sort, there was the inner family and those of us who were the fringe as the spouses. However, as spouses we were not made to feel any less welcome. It was good to be able to observe from a little distance the inner family bring together relevant facts about those who had gone on before, and a visit to the local church and cementary was obligatory. One of the highlights was the chance meeting between one of our elders and a woman he had not seen for 70 years. Magic!

The idea behind the family reunion at this time was that it should have happened without the need for someone to get married, or to die. Well, a  respected and distinguished member of the family did come to the end of her life anyway, and at the end of the reunion we said our goodbyes to Barbara Wills, (October 14, 1923-23 July, 2013).

Although I never did meet her in person, I obtained a really good impression of her life. Apart from being a mother and grandmother and a significant cog in the famly wheel, she was a person who contributed to the world in a way that ensures her legacy will live on. She was an artist who committed her view of the world to canvas. Her paintings can be found around the world, and she cared about people in third world countries. She was a firm believer in the U.K. charity, "Send a Cow" that can be found at
Barbara Wills lived a life that was indeed well lived and one that touched people in a delicate way that softened the heart. She even managed to have that effect on people she did not actually have a face to face with. Her funeral would have been a very sad affair were it not for the fact that her life was cause for such celebration.

The reunion was wonderful, and in the process Lorna and I met with many of her friends. I often think that we should make it a point to visit Bermuda and England at least once a year to keep abreast of events and to touch base with friends and family. Time moves entirely too quickly and we lose touch with those who are important to our own lives. Before we know it, life comes to an end, and of course, we are not living a rehearsal.

Live life now, for as someone once said, Yesterday is a cancelled cheque, tomorrow is a promissory note, and today is the here and now. That is why it's called The Present.

Copyright (c) 2013   Eugene Carmichael