I've been on holidays over this Christmas season visiting family.
I started by flying into Toronto and staying with my elder brother for a couple days then going to see my parents and eldest brother for a couple of weeks. From there I went to see Wendy's family for about a week, then a few days at my sister's before coming back to my elder brother's as prep for flying back to Winterpeg in a few days.
There were a few DELIGHTFUL surprises during my stay. My best man contacted to advise that he was in the area on business so I was able to go out for dinner with him, go for a stroll around Emmanuel Bible College where we went to school together and then meet up with him again for breakfast the next day. Essentially that diversion totalled at about 10 straight hours of visiting and catching up on our lives. It was beyond a treat and delight to try to encourage and take encouragement from one of the people who have impacted my life greatly that it's beyond words.
I was also able to spend extended hours with various children in the family be they regular nieces and nephews or grandnieces and grandnephews. There were several of my brother's grandchildren that I had not even met previously it had been so long since I had spent any time with my family. I was also able to see several hockey games played by a niece or a nephew which was in itself a fun time out. I just love hockey but it kinda makes you proud to see exceptional skills coming out of pre-teen or early teen persons. It was also just fun to spend time with family. There were few pressing matters to attend to. I could just enjoy their presence and spend time.
There have been some health issues that have been somewhat of a concern in my family in the recent past, health concerns that are simply related to the fact that we all age and things don't go as well as they have gone in time's past. That's a major reason why I wanted to and succeeded in spending the most time of my stay with my parents. I regularly thank God for how I was raised by my parents. They allowed me and encouraged me to dream and that was a gift that cannot be repaid except in more dreaming and encouragement. I'm thrilled that my parents now reside in the same city as my eldest brother because I know that they'll be constantly surrounded by family and growing great-grandchildren.
I really appreciate how my family loves one another. Each relationship in my family is different and yet, they are all strong and they all work. I love watching the reparte and obvious love and support seen in each relationship. I'm proud of each relationship and how they'll obviously sustain themselves.
I suppose that someone who may observe my stay may criticize and ask what it was that I accomplished over four solid weeks with family and I'll argue that the intangibles of hanging out with family and just ensuring that each one is told that I love them points to all of the strength of relationship that we have together. I've missed Wendy while I've been away but I've also felt like I've touched base with every major relationship that I've had during this Christmas season.
For anyone that had a part in the entire exercise, I thank you and I love you.