Sunday, July 27, 2008

Family---It's About Time!

That statement--Family, It's about time can mean two different things. It can mean that families take a considerable amount of time to maintain, cherish and nurture or it can mean it's about time we made our families a priority. I like to think it means both options should be considered.

Family--we all come from a family. We're involved in a family of some sort right now. Whether we have the traditional family--consisting of a mother, father and several children or not, it doesn't matter. We are surrounded, if we're lucky enough, with people we love and consider to be part of our family.

My family is very important to me. They are part of me. Spiritually, emotionally and physically. Physically, I inherited my nose from my father, my facial features from my mother's side of the family and my blue eyes, from Heaven knows who, because my parents both have dark eyes. Those are my physical inheritances from my parents.

Spiritually, I was taught in the religion of my parents. I was instructed at an early age about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and developed through the faith and testimony of my parents, to believe and follow the teachings that would bring me the most joy in my life. I will be forever grateful for their love and faith.

Emotionally, I was raised with four older brothers. Scott, Reed, Dale and David Olsen. They taught me a love of country, sports and the great outdoors as well as a respect for nature. I'd like to say we were the most obedient and respectful children in the world, but that wouldn't be the complete and honest truth. We had our problems and challenges. Happy times and sad. Life was not idyllic, but I wouldn't change those experiences for the world.

Through the long season of my parent's marriage, some 152 people have come to be called members of their family. Some of those people have left the family due to divorce and others were added over time due to marriages to individuals who already had children or their own. But all were adopted in, loved and considered members of the Paul and Helen Olsen Family. Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even great-great-grandchildren have graced my father’s family. What a great heritage! What a great posterity!

I guess I'm just a little proud and boastful of my family. I love my family. That's why I spend my vacations visiting with my family. My husband Tim and I just got back from a trip to Utah where we attended two family reunions. One for my father's family and one for my mother's family. We spent the time renewing and strengthening family ties and enjoying the company of extended family. It's always a pleasure to see new families being added to the fold with new babies born. It's a testimony to me that people have faith in the human family of man.

As time goes by, family members die and leave us. My mother passed away December of 2005. It was a tremendous blow to me and my family. Of her family of seven children, only three brothers remain. In my father's family of nine children, six siblings are still living. Two children are missing from this photo on the right.) Pictured are my father, Paul Olsen, his sisters: Lois and Zola and his brother Larry. Missing from the reunion are my dad's brothers Frank and Roger.

Soon the older generation will be gone and I and my brothers will be the older generation. But that's as it should be. Death is inevitable. We just live our lives and pray that our children will remember the legacy of love we tried to leave with them and hope they will pass that same legacy on to their children.

What ever your family situation may be, I only hope that you will take advantage of the time you have with your family to love and cherish them. We never know when they will no longer be with us. And what a shame to waste even one precious second being mad at them or of leaving forgiveness until it's too late. Families are about time--taking the time to relish these precious, finite relationships and consider taking the time to do more to hold them close.

I just hope you will consider your own family. Time is passing--

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