Last week, I attended another funeral of a loved one. During the repast, a family member observed that we seem to only see some family members, especially young family members, at funerals, and in many cases do not know that they are family. She went on to remind those present that immediate family and extended family members knew one another in the past as a result of practices that were routine. How many of you recall the days when parents regularly took their children to visit other family members at their homes, back in the day?
Back in the day, you may recall having Sunday dinner shortly after arriving home from church. My mother referred to this meal as supper to differentiate the Sunday family meal from our weekday and Saturday dinners. By eating around 2 or 3 o’clock in the afternoon, we had the rest of the day for fun family activities. So, what did we do? Along with our parents, we set out, walking I should add, to visit family. How well do I recall these visits? I admit that I did not realize the value of visits with family, back then, but over the years, I especially realize how invaluable these visits have been for me. These visits contributed mightily to my growth and development. While my parents were a first source in the development of my value system, these values were reinforced through interactions with family members. You could always count on being interrogated by family members about how things were going in school, questions about the character your friends were regularly asked, more questions about your plans for the future, and certainly, other questions that required you to think about who you were and who you might become.