Last evening I led our monthly grief support meeting for families grieving the death of a child. We talked about lonely isolating grief and the courage it takes to tell your story, about how those who have walked a similar path are the ones who become our family of sorts.
This morning I was up at 5 to help barbecue chicken at the church. I worked side-by-side with people who are becoming more familiar to me. (I started as associate pastor there in January, and am just learning to know some of the people outside of a Sunday morning worship service.) I was updated on health issues, farming conditions, and concert recommendations. These precious folks are already my family of sorts.
I returned home mid-morning and made baked beans, Cajun corn salad, a loaf of braided egg bread, and a triple batch of chocolate chip cookies for a family reunion this afternoon. We arrived to see new faces among the familiar loved ones, but that’s not unusual. In our family, DNA is not the only thing that makes us such. Nearly every reunion and family meal has at least one or more persons not related by blood. The unspoken theory seems to be, if you can handle the chaos, you’re welcome to join us. Throughout the years, friends have come and gone from these reunions, but they forever remain our family of sorts.
And then I read this quote and count myself among the world’s richest.
“I don’t care how poor a man is; if he has family, he’s rich.” ~Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford, Identity Crisis,” M*A*S*H
Wherever you find yourself when you read this, I pray you too have a family of sorts.