The Joys of Family
In a period of eight days last week I was reminded how special and important family is - both family of relatives and family of friends. Over the long weekend before Thanksgiving, specifically Thursday through Saturday, I attended the state high school volleyball finals in Battle Creek. This was the 22nd consecutive year I have done this and it got me to thinking about the families which you choose. Over the years there has evolved a group of us who attend the finals and sit together in the same section of stands.
We have become fast friends, sharing a love of volleyball and high school sports in general. There is really nothing else much that we have in common. We come from different parts of the state, some of us are retired and some are still working. We range in age from mid 40's to mid 70's, some single, some married, some childless, some with children and grandchildren. We only see each other once a year (mostly) and yet it feels like a family every year we get together.
Then, of course, there is the proverbial family Thanksgiving gathering. My wife and I serve as hosts each year to the northern branch of our families and this year our son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter were able to come up from downstate. As usual we all ate too much but had a great time interacting with each other. The age range was literally 2 to 92, from our granddaughter to my wife's mother. As a bonus, our son's family was able to stay over two nights giving us extra time with our precious granddaughter.
With the basketball season starting this coming weekend, I will join another favorite family - the Traverse City Central girls' basketball team - whom I have spent the last six years traveling with and taking game pictures of. The players and parents change from year to year, but it still feels like family as I spend a lot of time with the group.
When you have family, whether related or not, you have a real treasure to cherish.