Family. A collection of men and women, boys and girls, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, grandsons and granddaughters, adults and children, little people and big people, older people and younger people, teenagers and senior citizens and babies and every age in between. And the circle of life goes round.
They come in all shapes and sizes and ages; from the spectrum of the patriarch and the matriarch who started the whole procession across time and states and lifestyles to the tiny ones just starting out on their journey that could take them across time and states and lifestyles. And the circle of life goes round.
The patriarch and the matriarch began their journey together in the days when not so long before they’d had to brave the cold and dark of night to visit the outhouse; and not so long before, the family had gotten their first car; and not so long before, one of the older brothers had brought in enough money to have the telephone wire run to the house. Why, there wasn’t even a radio in the house when they were young. Not so long before. Not only that, they’d had their own small children running around the house before TV became the new phenomenon. And the circle of life goes round.
And the patriarch and the matriarch did their best for their children and felt great pride as their children became young adults and started their own separate journeys across time and states and lifestyles and they cried a little (or a lot in the case of the matriarch) as the home nest emptied and the patriarch and the matriarch were just two again. And the circle of life goes round.
And the family came together in happiness and enjoyment when the first grandchild was born and the patriarch and the matriarch felt vindicated and pleased as they kissed the chubby cheeks of the golden-haired little girl. And the circle of life goes round.
And careers took hold and the children’s lives were busy and spread out around the states and weddings were celebrated and more grandchildren arrived and the patriarch and the matriarch wished they lived closer so that they could squeeze those grandchildren on a more regular basis. And the circle of life goes round.
And the grandchildren thrived and the years were captured in the school photos and family portraits and milestone announcements that were sent to the patriarch and the matriarch who proudly decorated their walls and table tops with these trophies of the Family. And the circle of life goes round.
And the years marched on while grandchildren grew and aged and began careers and found mates and began the next generation and before you knew it there was a third and a fourth and a fifth generation of offspring and they spread across the years from the newborn to the middle-aged. And the circle of life goes round.
And one day, the family paused in its mad pursuit of life to mourn the death of the elderly patriarch and to contemplate what it all means and to be grateful for their place in the midst of this maddening and nurturing animal called family. And the circle of life goes round.
And the matriarch moved slowly on through the pain and difficulty of old age, and her children, gray-haired and slower themselves, began to see themselves in a new light, no longer the ones on the quest for new worlds to conquer but instead the pillars of this thing called family. And the circle of life goes round.
And they saw they were part of the procession that would continue after they were gone and they prayed that the third and fourth and fifth generations and beyond would find the real meaning of life; that they would cherish and embrace this thing called family. And they saw they would have to trust that the thread of beliefs and values that were passed from their ancestors to them would continue on to their descendants. And the circle of life goes round.
Why they remember a time when TV was black and white and man first walked on the moon and every house had a landline, except in those days it was just called the telephone. And the circle of life goes round.
And they saw that the beliefs and values could transcend the new age of smart phones and iPads and technical gadgetry that consume the time and energy of the family. And they saw that the beliefs and values could live on as the future dawns with even more startling and unimaginable advancements. And the circle of life goes round. And the circle of life goes round.