Family – Good for the soul

With all the stressors of life, it seems that we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of living. The Eastern culture has somewhat of an edge on us when it comes to such matters because they have a different priority list.

Our list begins with things like work, money, work, bills, work, shopping, work and work.

I know for me there were times in the past where I would not see much of my children until the weekends because of a hectic work schedule. And we tell ourselves that it’s all for the family. We say that we must do this to live the American dream. And that’s what we all need right?

I remember a scene from Tom Hanks’ movie, “That Thing You Do” where the father of the drummer owns an appliance store and one morning before the store opens, he’s reading the newspaper ads and sees that his competition is open 12-6pm on Sundays.

This movie was set in the ‘50s, so you will understand better his statement.

He said, “I don’t think I want to live in a place that you have to be open on Sunday to support a family.”

How do you feel about that?

Something has happened to us.

Blame technology. Blame the workforce. You can even blame it on the alcohol, but it doesn’t change the fact that somehow, someway America got in a big hurry.

Everything is rush, rush, rush all for what?

To end up in a hospice surrounded by immediate family who you don’t really know you too well. We cannot get any of this time back! Time goes forward, not backwards, so we need to do something about this now!

My suggestions are simple: Take some pleasant and enjoyable from your childhood and expand it or repeat it with your family.

An extremely happy time for me was whenever my mother would make homemade biscuits.

My mom was born in Alabama — Greensboro to be exact – and she and my Aunt Bea (Yes, I have an Aunt Bea and my last name is Mayberry) can just flat out cook!

I’m not saying that just because I grew up on their food. They were great hostesses and folks ate at our house often.

We would wake up to the smell of bacon, sausage or salmon croquettes, grits and homemade biscuits. Never had any better. I’ve had a lot of biscuits from all over the US, but never like my moms. I don’t know if she put her foot in them, spit in them or what, but it didn’t matter – they were stupid good!

I decided recently to get my siblings together with my mom and dad and cook breakfast together. My mom hadn’t made homemade biscuits in decades. It was interesting that when we got together, my siblings thought that I had some big announcement to make.

It seemed like there was even a little hesitation which proves we don’t get together enough.

Many things occurred that reminded me of why we don’t get together. Things like people coming late, not contributing and lying about their whereabouts – isn’t that like family?

And I wouldn’t change it for the world! This is what we call living without regret.

Often times, we live our lives and function like we’re an island – until someone dies.

It is only then when we grieve that we realize that we didn’t take the time to enjoy life. We’re hurt that somehow, in all the rush, the people that really matter were forgotten.

Talk to anyone who has lost a beloved mother or father or even a sibling. You’ll find universally that they would give anything to get the time back.

Please! I beg you…take the time to stop and smell the roses. Whatever that means for you, don’t let the simple joys of life get away from you.