Sunday, January 1, 2012

Looking back on 2011

Washington State coastline
Here it is once again. Another January 1st nearly over and it doesn't seem like a day that stands out. It feels just like any other all things considered. The last week has been a bit of a whirlwind. My love Liam and I traveled to Oak Harbor, Washington for his grandmother's funeral. I couldn't let him go alone and I am so grateful to my coworkers for juggling the schedule a bit so that I could drive up there with him. It's an 18 hour drive in good weather.  You know since I mentioned the weather there had to be some problem, but we only had a bit of rain and high winds slow us a little bit.

I was a bit nervous going up to basically meet a lot of his relatives for the very first time. All of that faded away when we entered the church for the viewing and sharing of stories about their family matriarch. I was immediately taken aback by how much Liam's family was like my own. Both are large clans full of life, love and laughter even in a time of sorrow.  Yes, they missed their loved one dearly, but they were not there to be sad, but to celebrate her life.  That is what my family has always done as well.  I felt like I had always been in that family and had known their grandmother my whole life because of the love that shined through from each and every one of them.  This amazing woman had six children, over 20 grandchildren and over 40 great grand children. Two are still on the way!  Their family continues to be blessed and I for one am so lucky to have been included in their celebration.

At the gatherings after the viewing and again after the funeral, the conversation, laughter and smiles continued full force...and loudly!  I loved every single moment of it!  The conversations all going on at the same time and people actually able to follow them all was again nostalgic for me. I am the oldest of six children. My mother is one of six as well. So picture all of us together, all the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren in one house.  Food, drink and nonstop conversations, discussions, laughter and yes a few tears from a few of the small ones colliding into each other after a bit too much play.  THIS is family to me. THIS overwhelming wonderful group of people who you may not see very much of over the years, but when they are needed, will rally around and be your rock and support when you need it the most.

Being 2500 miles away from my clan has been very hard for me over the last 10 years. Sure, I made the trip home a few times and each time I was rejuvenated and could make it a bit more on my own.  Now having shared this with Liam and his family, I feel whole again.  I know that may sound a bit strange to some of you reading this, but being in the middle of all of the family "chaos" gave me peace.  It also helped me make up my mind that I will make sure I visit my family in Michigan at least once a year and maybe some day in the future Liam can make the trip with me and meet my nutty, fiercely loyal and loving family too.

May the New Year bring each and every one of you laughter, smiles, hope and peace. May you find your inner Beacon and let it shine for all the world to see.  May the next phase of your journey through life bring you closer to your heart's desire...and maybe even help you achieve it!

Blessed be...
Tammy

4 comments:

  1. So glad you experienced that sense of family. I hope the new year brings you so much joy and success :)

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  2. Thank you, Kellie! I wish the same for you as well. I have a feeling that 2012 will be a fantastic year!

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  3. Just spent 5 +mins writing a note to you and tried to post it and it disappeared! SORRY!!!....Humbled to read your post... and share in your family details....so sorry to hear that news for you all...my condolences.....
    Loved the two pics.... the first grey pic could represent the past....but you realise that the WAVE cannot be separate from the OCEAN....the 2nd brings colour, hope, blessings and goodwill to you both and your families too...a Rainbow of truth. I so hope that you have a fab year...God Bless you and Liam too. Dave AScensionForYou.

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  4. Thank you, Dave! The last year was full of ups and downs, but thankfully more ups. So far the new year is bright and promising just like the rainbow. Cheers to you and I hope your year is wonderful as well!

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