The three B's. We were all born within 16 days of each other. Brett, Becky and Bonnie
I have just gotten back from spending a week in Washington and Northern Idaho where I happily explored some of my old stomping grounds. It was amazing how much things had changed in the past 24 years.
It was my Aunt Lois's 80th birthday celebration that was supposed to be a surprise, but turned out to be something much more different.
No matter where you are in your life, loving your family and spending time with them should be an important priority. You may disagree on a great many things, but the tie that binds you all together is love and respect.
Creating fond memories of the fun events such as birthdays, visits and reunions will keep your tie with each other from fraying.
Life is too short not to be willing to say two words: "I'm Sorry." Then the other three most important words that you can say are: "I love you."
My cousin Brett was hospitalized and diagnosed with Leukemia while I was visiting. He had fully expected to be at the birthday party, but this illness side-lined him.
On Saturday, after a nice celebration with family and friends; nine of Brett's cousins went to support him at the hospital.
It was nearly an hour and a half before they brought him back up to his room. Because of the sheer number of well-wishers, the attendant graciously wheeled him outside the visiting area for all of us to give Brett our individual and group support.
I told the amazed attendant that this was just a small cross-section of his extended family. She was very moved by the words and encouragement that we shared with Brett.
The Ties That Bind are not just the good memories and fun events that we experience in life; though they are the most pleasurable ones. But sometimes we are bound together for other reasons like supporting a cousin who has a very difficult fight ahead of him.
This past week has been one for the records, and as Americans, we realize that nothing will ever be the same again. Our hearts are filled with sorrow for the fallen soldiers in Afghanistan. Our retirement pocketbooks are empty and our country is very divided.
But who has divided us? Political Parties? Not really, they are only the obvious symptoms of a horrible disease that has overtaken the spirit of our country.
Somehow, we must find our way back from the isolating selfishness that has dictated policies and lifestyles for the past few decades. We all have weeds in our own gardens and it is time to pull them out.
Being an American is the tie that binds us together. That tie has been strong for over 200 years. Today, we find ourselves worrying over the strength of the rope when we should be more concerned about what is causing the fray.
Now is the time to put aside our cutting words and bitter accusations and realize that our barn is burning down and we need a bucket brigade to put the fire out. We must be willing to pass the water bucket down the line and forget about what has transpired before.
Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a fire to bring everyone together. You don't have to venture an opinion, you only have to work together so that the line is not broken and vital water is passed on to the person nearest to the fire.
And if our barn happens to burn down; in spite of our efforts, we must rebuild it Together. It is the labor of love that binds us together as families and friends.
We need to view ourselves as being a part of the United States of America, instead of liberal or conservative or of a certain party persuasion.
You might not be blessed to be a part of a large family with as many cousins as I have; but you are blessed with being an American.
Being an American is having respect and love for each other and our country. It means that we stand to salute the flag as it is presented. It also means that we share a great history with each other.
Families will feud and fuss with each other, but in the end, they come together to support each other in times of great stress and sorrow. They are bound with love. Hard words can be forgotten, but how you made someone feel is more difficult to forgive or forget.
There is a wildfire ravaging our country and burning acres of prime land and separating families. We must stand together and create a firebreak to change the direction of the blaze. Time is running out, where will you choose to be when the fire threatens your home?