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Mar 03

Family Affairs, The Years Just Melt Away

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Family affairs can be painful. Or, they can be refreshing and rejuvenating! How do you feel when family gets together and you meet people you haven’t seen in years or maybe even never met?

Family Affairs Can Be Fun!

Family affairs are an opportunity to reconnect. Sometimes there are issues that have lived beneath the surface for some time and we just needed time to process and heal. Other times, life just gets in the way. Getting together can be a time to mend fences and rediscover each other. Then the fun begins!

What do I call a “family affair”?

  • Family Affairs birthday photoChristmas parties or gathering for meals;
  • Funerals (Too many of those lately!);
  • Weddings (Looking forward to the next generation!);
  • Birthdays
  • Travelers (Long distance visits.).

Christmas is my favourite time of year because most of us are in a giving and forgiving mood. I love seeing family and I find most make the effort to connect during this season. Believe it or not, even funerals can turn out to be fun. They give us a reason to get together in one place and share our feelings. I like to share fun memories of the person we lost and this generally results in feeling much better than when I walked in. Weddings! Dance the night away!

Family Affairs - UncleTravelers can give us an excuse to connect. This one is more of a choice. I recently had a great experience because I chose to overcome some discomfort to make the connection. My uncle was traveling from almost the other side of the country and I hadn’t seen him in a couple of years. To his credit, he is the one that most often comes to us.

In this case, I had been going through some physical discomfort and connecting meant I had to extend my day, drive a combined four hours and have a really short night’s sleep before going back to work the next morning. When I heard that an aunt I hadn’t seen in over 20 years was also going to be there, I decided this had to happen. I could always take an extra pill for the pain and call in sick if I had to!

Why Should You Make Time For Family Affairs?

You should make time for family affairs because you never know who might show up or what you might learn!

When my uncle said he was coming in from out west, he posted on Facebook that we should all meet at my nephew’s bar in Hamilton. Serve Ping Pong Bar & Lounge at 7PM. I showed up about a half hour early and no sign of anyone. The staff had no idea we were coming. Oops? Did I have the wrong date? I checked Facebook and verified I got it right. About 10 minutes after, they showed up. The rest of the family started to arrive closer to 7:30. Figures, the out of town people got there first!

Who showed up?

  • Family Affairs photoMy aunt and uncle (Dad’s brother) from half way across the country;
  • Me from Barrie. (Hamilton folks think that’s on the other side of the world!);
  • My aunt (Dad’s sister) that I hadn’t seen in over 20 years, and her husband I had never met;
  • My cousin (His Dad was my Dad’s brother) and all of his family;
  • My sister, her husband and kids.

Ironically, my sister is the only one who almost always shows up and the rest of us are almost never there due to distance and sometimes just life. I am so glad I made it! I would have missed a number of people I hadn’t seen in years.

Amazing what you might learn!

  • My sister learned more about my deceased grandfather than she ever knew, and maybe didn’t want to!
  • I learned more about why I rarely saw my aunt, not what I expected.
  • My aunt, who divorced my uncle years ago, recognized the closeness of the Clermont family.
  • I have some amazing young cousins!

I have no idea what, if anything others may have learned but I would put money on learning everyone had a great time and learned a lot. 

When I arrived in Hamilton, I put enough money in the parking meter for two hours. I didn’t leave until over four hours after I got there. That’s a good measure of whether or not I had a good time! Trust me, when you have to drive an hour and a half home after traveling and a long day at work, you don’t stay later than you have to unless you are willing to pay the price. I got three hours sleep last night and don’t regret a minute of the time I spent with my family.

Next time you are invited to a family affair, think carefully before you say no. You may be missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime. When you get together at family affairs like this one, the years just melt away and you leave feeling rejuvenated!

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? Family Affairs! Serve Ping Pong Bar & Lounge. Sliders! What are you thankful for today?

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