family history


Several times a year my family will have an unscheduled recounting of our family history. It’s like an ungraded review to make sure everyone still knows the material before we continue on to the next lesson.

We share the exact same stories of our family history over and over. Since the stories are classics they never get old. We all know the tales from beginning to end, but are thrilled to relive them and laugh again and again.

We all inherently know that these are the best days of our lives, despite the struggle and strife that beset all of us. This is the one thing that kids don’t argue with parents about. Even the young ones have some comprehension of how precious and passing each day is.

A typical family retrospective at my house goes something like this. “I remember when McKenzie got rammed by a goat!” My wife recalls the details with tears from laughter rolling down. Never forgetting to note McKenzie’s arms, legs and head straight out in front of her as her body was flying backward.

Before the laughter can stop, one of us will say something like. “How about Ali’s soccer career?”  Someone else chimes in, “I think she was looking at the sky!” The next one says, “She was the only one on the field facing the wrong way and twirling her hair as the ball bounced on by!!”

We’re rolling now. “How bout Gurm’s hambugers?” – “Yeah, remember the “Hey wez my hambugaw?!!!” Then comes the answer, “Daddy ate it!” Then we all jump in to imitate her response. “EEEEAAAAHHH!!!” Laughs abound.

The roast continues. “Remember when Mom went to meet the principle and the heel broke off her shoe?” –  “HAAAA!” Then comes all the details.

I find it peculiar how we can look back on even something that was traumatic and painful, and with enough of that magical “time” between now and then, we can laugh. Maybe laughter really is the “the best medicine.” It certainly does taste better anyway.

God grants us a select number of days on this earth and each one is a gift. The older I get the more I realize how precious each of these gifts are.

I’m beginning to treat each gift with the respect and thankfulness that I should. I think the smart people call that “wisdom.” I just call it understanding, because like a lesson in school, there is a point when the teacher finally wins a battle and, “The Light Bulb Comes On.”

I believe sharing family stories and laughing together at each other and ourselves is God’s therapy. It’s like saying, “Thanks for always being there…” –  “Thanks for your understanding…” –  “Thank you for your forgiveness…”  – “I’ll honor you with these stories even after you’re gone…”  And, “I love you.”

“Hey, remember how horrible Kenz and Ali were when they first started playing piano?” I or my wife will declare. Inevitably my wife will add, “I should have never let them quit, they got so good!” I’ll add, “Yeah, but it sure was punishment for us until they got there!” We love to recount that one.

Today our youngest has a guitar lesson. She’ll want to show me what she learned today.  It will be painful… It’s partly my fault, it wouldn’t have been as painful, but I’m the one who encouraged her to pick the electric over the acoustic guitar..

I don’t know if she’ll quit, become great, or land somewhere in between. I do know this; Someday we will laugh and cherish this day.