Let’s all be thankful for family

The Way I See It

by DON WEST

I hope that your Christmas celebrations were filled with joy, love, hope, and were a source of fond memories that will recur through life. The gathering of families and friends should always be a pleasant and memorable occasion and hopefully a time when we gather to share the love that God showed us when bringing His Son into the world to redeem us of our sinfulness.

The human side of us often allows petty jealousies and anger to interfere in our lives, but hopefully, at least for this short period of time during Christmas holidays, we can set aside those grievances and just enjoy the fact that we are family, each born in the image of Christ, and put here on earth to be His hands, voice, and heart.

Though my family has had to deal with the loss of my sister, and are saying our final goodbyes today as you read this column, those of us who are left here were able to join together and enjoy some semblance of celebration even though Donna was noticeably absent from the group. The loss of anyone is always difficult and each of us has to deal with our grief and do so in our own way. Some use tears, some anger, some with remorse, and others with a smile, but each of us has to deal with death simply because it is a part of life.

We were a fairly small family, by some standards, and probably because of the gaps between our ages, the three of us Donna, Tim, and I probably had to reach an age of maturity before we began to really love and appreciate one another. We were all born seven years apart, almost exactly, with birthdays in February, March and April; so as children, there were natural blockades of age differences that created a distance amongst us. As children, we tend to cling to those who are close in age because our likes and dislikes are similar, but we were family and loved one another despite our differences.

Donna had a giving and loving heart, almost to a fault, as we witnessed her deprive herself many times to give to us, her children, her grandchildren, and even complete strangers off the street. We know that, at times, she would fail to get medicines she needed because she felt that someone needed or wanted the money more than she did.  If it is our goal to leave this world a little better off than when we arrived, then Donna certainly accomplished hers. Oh, she was no more perfect than the rest of us, and we found frustration in many of her choices, but she made those choices with a good heart, and we can all learn a lesson from that charitable view of her fellow man.

We believe that Donna would not want us sitting around in grief during these holidays, but to enjoy and celebrate our memories of her and so we chose to delay services for a few days to do just that. She certainly was with us in spirit as we looked through pictures and remembered and related stories of events in our lives and the effect our sister, mother, and grandmother had on all of us.

Donna, we miss you, but your legacy will live on in us. Your infectious laughter, smile, and your big heart will be the memories that we use to get through those days when the world seems to close in on us. We will cherish the times we had together, give thanks for your life here on earth, and celebrate each day knowing that we have another angel watching over us. So long, Sis, we will see you on the other side.

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Posted by on Dec 27 2012. Filed under Editorial Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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