In the past week our family has been busy texting, emailing and phoning each other as we try to arrange a big family holiday to celebrate that my wife and I reach our 70th birthdays in 2019. We have decided that an extended family holiday with daughters, husbands and all the grandchildren would be a great way to mark the occasion rather than buying presents as such.
Trying to find a location and a house to stay in was quite an exercise as there were many factors and diverse requirements to try and take into account – things for the grandchildren to do (aged between 6 and 14), outdoor eating arrangements, (BarBQs are high on the list of requirements for some in the group), walks and places to visit, the proximity of shops and restaurants and not least of course sleeping, bathroom and dining facilities.
In the course of the many conversations (virtual and real) the diversity of the family came much into focus. It amazes me how from a common DNA stream such diversity arises, with so many different ways of looking at the world and at the same time so many similarities!
I got to thinking about my own generation of brothers and sisters and also the lives and characters of our late parents – both of whom are deeply missed by all in the family. I do not doubt that the same can be said for the families of our two sons-in-law; diversity and similarity in equal measure.
I was reminded how over a decade ago, Katherine our younger daughter wrote a poem for my wife, in which she contrasted the differences and the similarities between them and her hopes that one day she would accomplish all that her mother had done in her life. It was and is a very special piece of poetry and with their kind permission it is this very poem that appears at the bottom of this blog, rather than one from me.
I feel it speaks for the aspirations of many a daughter (or son for that matter) after they leave home to make their way in the world, whilst looking back from whence they came, the parents who loved them into being and who brought them up the best way they knew how.
Amazing things genes! God knew exactly what he was doing when he designed this into the creative force of history.
I made a list
I was thinking about you today
I made a list of all the things you have given me,
All the things you hid in my blood.
The compassion in my chest
For people struggling and falling behind.
The ability to build bridges to those people
Across ravines of difference.
Delight in the feel of another language in my mouth,
At shaking off being foreign with the power of words.
Whilst I cannot recall dates and times like you,
I can remember the favourite food of the people I love.
Sometimes I feel waves of worry for them too.
I love good value, buy one get one free, half price
Even if it is on shoes…..
And one day, maybe not so far away,
I hope I will find
Running through my veins
The gift of motherhood that you have
The gift of motherhood that you have.
© Katherine Wild 2006
(PS Poetic prayers answered - Katherine is now blessed with a wonderful husband and the gift of two beautiful sons).