As I did the Japji Sahib today in the morning, I couldn’t help smiling inwardly at some of the funny, and loving things I have seen with my family this week. As I kept reading under a gloomy sky, I felt completely lit up inside. For the first time, I was reading the prayer without halting ( I don’t have it memorized). It struck me that I have a lot cousins and their children in town. At last count, 43 all together counting everyone living here. Yes! 43 which includes, kids of all ages from a 6 month old to 21 years. That’s still only gets us to perhaps 1/2 of my family as half didn’t come. Yes, half.
To say my family is big is an understatement, but really to say that they are loved is an even bigger understatement. I wish I could say that it was due to a special occasion such as a big birthday or wedding that the family is here but in reality this regularly happens in my family. My cousins have been coming to visit us for as long as we have been in California. What’s really striking is that how much fun we have as a family. I don’t think I have laughed this much, well since, the last time they were here which was my wedding. Preeti joked that it felt like we are getting married all over again which made our 2nd anniversary even more memorable. What really warmed my heart was to see how much fun she has with my family too.
I realize now that although many have big families, what makes this more pleasurable for me is to see how close my parents were to their siblings. It is their love for each other that has made us close to our cousins. My mom’s 5 sisters and 4 brothers are so deeply committed to each other that it’s breathtaking to see them get together. I have only seen laughing, praying, crying together. NEVER, and I mean NEVER have I seen them fight or argue with each other.Then there is also my father’s side of 5 brothers and 1 sister where my sisters and I are the oldest cousins, and the level of respect accorded to us is truly humbling. My father is the head of the family, and his love and caring has made us care and love our cousins naturally. I can say all my cousins make me feel truly loved, and when they do come over, it is NEVER a chore. I do admit that friends and work tend to suffer a bit since we all are so keen to be around for hours.
I assumed that was normal until I saw others who don’t speak to family members for months or years. I think the longest I have gone without speaking to my sisters has been a week. It just has never occurred to us to not resolve what’s wrong. We fight, we yell, we argue, we are mean to each other, but it has NEVER affected our relationship as brother and sister. I see now that with time we have gotten even closer. I guess what I really mean to say is that I truly grateful for who I have in life, and I want others to have the same too. That is my public service announcement for the day 🙂
- Gotta love the funny family (mbhenryjennings.com)