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Family Pillars
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They happen every five years or so. My mother-in-law’s side of the family gets together for a big family reunion. And I mean big! She came from a family that had six girls. They all grew up and had kids…who grew up and had kids…who grew up and had kids. The four generations gathered this summer for a long weekend at a ranch.

Looking back, I realize that the people who made it the most special weren’t the lively kids, the adventuresome teenagers, or the middle-age folks who did most of the work. It was the sisters—ranging in age from 70 to 88.

They were the ones who requested the old hymns around the campfire—those songs with rich words that we sometimes forget about. They were the ones who had stories to tell—stories of how this family came to be in the mountains of Hailey, Idaho in a logging camp. They were the ones who reminded us that they pray nightly for each and every family member.

It struck me how much we need them, and how family reunions just wouldn’t be the same without them. They are the pillars of the family—the strength. Without them, an entire generation would be missing from our reunions. A generation that holds the history.

Young Girls Again

The highlight of this reunion happened on our last afternoon at the ranch. We were gathered in the shade beside the corral when a daughter of one of the sisters begged her mom, Helen, for a photo op. “Mom! Come sit on a horse for a picture!” she asked. Helen laughingly said “Oh no!” more than once, but then people began to cheer her on. That’s when Dorothy, the oldest of the sisters said to her, “Come on, Helen. We need to do this for the family.” And with the help of a stepladder, four of the sisters were on horseback, while one held the reins. The whole family hooped and hollered! Many were teary-eyed. And for a few moments the sisters were young girls again, smiling, laughing and waiving for the cameras. Giving us all a memory to hold dear and a “remember when?” story to tell.

If you are the “pillar” of your family, take pride! Proverbs 16:31 says, “The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.” Don’t feel that your best days are over or that you don’t have much to offer your family. You have stories to tell that only you can remember. You have a prayer list longer than anyone’s. You have wisdom that the younger generation needs. You have sat back watched your family grow and have a sense of time like no one else does. You have arms and a lap, smiles and kisses, encouraging words and a powerful influence. And you are—irreplaceable.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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