Richard Dama, LPC, Counseling & Clinical Hypnotherapy

When Love and Acceptance Sneak Up on You

Good morning and welcome back. I had a blog I intended to post yesterday, but since it was a holiday here in the States, I decided to get in the spirit of the only holiday we have that celebrates good honest hard work, so I decided to take the day off.

As I mentioned above, I have another blog previously written for this slot, but something happened this weekend that I’m excited to share.

My older brother John, (did I mention he’s older than I?) and I have always been…well, like brothers. Even though he is 6 years OLDER than I, we spent a fairly large amount of time together as we were growing up. In fact, even though our sisters didn’t arrive until John and I were in our teens, we have all maintained a very close-knit family spirit and loyalty. We may only see each other a few times a year, but it’s always as if we pick right back up where we left off. I’m also incredibly lucky in that my siblings are also among my best friends in the world.

A few weeks ago, one of my brother’s neighbors and a dear friend (A guy I have always looked up to as a big brother and who like my brother, has been an uncle to my kids) had a stroke and the last time I saw him, he had just finished PT and was wrung out.

It turns out that by Sunday morning when I contacted my brother to check on our friend, I learned he was home, and was going to be at my brother’s house that afternoon for a cookout. All I had to hear was, “Hey, why don’t you…” and I was in the car heading for Lansing.

I arrived at my brother’s house a little early. As we caught up, the rest of the Tribe started to trickle in and before long the house was filled with organized chaos. It was loud, seemingly disorganized (But I pity the fool who got in the way of that group once they got pulling in the same direction), and an environment where you could feel the unconditional love engulfing you like a big hug.

It wasn’t all unicorn farts and butterflies. Several of us started down conversational paths that could ordinarily lead to a heated debate (we’re all free thinkers and all hold strong opinions (often wrong; never in doubt)), but even then we caught ourselves before we got too far and just agreed to disagree (that’s what mutual respect looks like). Like any family, we also have a couple of elephants in the room which we all tacitly acknowledge, but refuse to take out of their pen….because…well….why?

The thing that I found must remarkable is that in the past year, most of the principals had had the chance to sit at the table with death and smile back. We had all either been on the other side or witnessed the drama and struggle of our loved ones fighting back from the edges of death.

What we ended up with was a house full of people who love each other unconditionally and were truly gathered in a spirit of love, gratitude and joy for just being alive and together. No one complained about their burdens. No one complained about the difficulty of the road. We were a group of travelers, each with our own path to tread and burdens to carry, but we were also a group of spirits who truly reveled in each other’s company and celebrated the differences and similarities between us.

If anyone doubts that magic exists, I invite you to the next family gathering. Bring an appetite and a sober driver because there will be wine!

Here’s hoping you have an intentionally beautiful day surrounded by those you love.

Rich

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