|One spunky looking family right there! LOL!|
We have already discussed how cooking for our family (and friends) is a great way to show them that you love them and care for them. Cooking homemade meals has always been an important part of family life. And so has sharing - sharing hospitality and love and delicious homemade goodness. A batch of muffins for your neighbor, or a loaf of homemade bread for your kid's teacher, or an extra meal for the new parents down the road are all ways we can spread the love and increase happiness for those we care about. And in return, you will feel happier making someone else's day.
Of course, a more obvious way to connect to our family and friends is to talk to them. Preferably face-to-face, but of course this is not always possible. My family lives 8298.9 miles away, so that kinda makes it hard to pop over for a cup of tea. So, thank you Lord, we have Skype.
We have a scheduled date each week for talk time - that way Nan & Pop get to see their grand kids, my sister and niece get to connect with the girls too, and I get to chat with my Mum, Dad and sister, and it doesn't feel rushed (because it is FREE!!), and it almost feels like we are there (especially the time my girls "played" hide-n-seek with their little cousin - so cute!!). We can show each other around our house, check out our latest buys, see each new hairstyle, outfit, and how much our babies are growing each week. We can hear their voices, see their faces, watch their expressions. It is truly priceless.
Being so far from my family can be overwhelming sometimes - I miss them so much it is hard to really think about for too long. Nothing can replace your family.
So we show each other our love in different ways - our regular Skype session is our way.
Haha...only joking ;)
The old-fashioned way was writing letters. I used to write letters to my Nanny (paternal grandmother) all the time. Oh, how I miss her, and our lovely letters. Just to receive a handwritten letter from her made my day. She was my pen-pal. Nowadays handwritten letters are pretty much non-existent. I have tried to find another pen-pal with a younger generation family member, but it just didn't catch on :( If you have someone you can write letters to (and who will write back!LOL) then treasure it for as long as you can - never take it for granted - it is beautiful thing. One of my most treasured items is a letter my Poppy (paternal grandfather) wrote to me - makes me cry just to think of it - the one and only letter he ever wrote and a beautiful one at that. They are memories you can hold in your hand, and stay in your heart forever.
I know in my heart I gave my grandparents heaps of my time, sat and listened to their stories, looked at all their photos, did what chores they asked me to do, loved and respected them. Cherished them. Never, ever took my time with them for granted. I think it is so important to realize that time with your family is a precious thing. Something you need to hold against your heart, and nourish, and water it with your words, and listening ears, and respect and knowledge and love and your time.
Whenever I do actually get together with my family we always have plans to do things - we are active in our pursuit of time together. We talk - in the car, at a restaurant, on the beach, around the dinner table. Every second is never wasted. It is like we need to soak in every drop of being together to help us last until next time.
I have seen families who don't do anything - communication is so poor it is frustrating. Sitting around the house, but in different rooms, is their idea of a family get-together. There is some weird ideal there but it is never realized. Wasted time and wasted opportunity produces a dysfunctional family.
Now, I'm not saying every family will be perfect - I know that is not the case. But if there is any hope to make it better it would be worth the effort. You may get rejected the first few times, but keep trying to break through, work out solutions, and try to enjoy each other's company. And remember, there is nothing greater than love.
Hug your sister.
Call your Mom.
Ask your Dad for advice.
Tell them that you love them...today.