The Shine of Genuine

“There is no such thing as a “broken family.” Family is family, and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those people are your family. And if you hate those ties, those people will still be your family because whatever you hate will always be with you.” ― C. JoyBell C.

Old homeplace

Circa 1825: Where it all began

It was a celebration of life and love, of a life well lived. Family, friends, and even a few strangers gathered to share memories, socialize, and break bread. My father wanted us to have a party in his remembrance, a pig roast at his birth place to be precise.

We followed the red clay road up the hill to be welcomed by blue, sunny skies and outstretched arms of the ancient trees. It was a busy day but when I was unable to mingle I looked, listened, and learned about the life all around me.

“Life is a balance between hanging on and letting go.” (Thanks for that quote, Rudri.) When we let go of the deceased we’re not letting go of their love for us or ours for them. We’re letting go of their physical presence and hanging onto the love through memory and legacy.

“We can never get a re-creation of community and heal our society without giving our citizens a sense of belonging.”-Patch Adams On more than one occasion you’ve heard me say how much I enjoy solitude, and I do; but this weekend reminded me of how important it is to share our lives with others.   It takes a community. It takes the sharing and caring of a community to live a life well lived. It takes the interaction of a community to create memories. It takes a community to remember the many facets of love which stemmed from one person. It takes a community to carry the legacy. Treasure your community.

“Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing.” -Jim Rohn There will always be differences among members, but superior attitudes and petty quarrels should never cause divisions within the unit.There will be times annoyances occur, but the key is to focus on the love and contributions of others. Minding our own business is essential as well as leaving negative vibes behind. If disagreements must be expressed it can easily be done in in a respectful manner.

We sometimes think our families are the hardest on us, but it isn’t true. They expect more from us because they believe in us even when we don’t believe in ourselves. The people who love you are the ones who have your back. They will pick you up when everyone else disappears. Regardless of failure or success, they love the real you.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” –John F. Kennedy This is the basis of a life well lived. I have never been more proud than to watch the next generation of my immediate and extended family in action. They are authentic and loving young people steeped in good moral values. They pitched in without being asked. They treated their elders with respect, and the children with kindness. These are my family’s future. They are farmers, tradesmen, business men, hospitality workers, holistic healers, lawyers, and educators. They are our hope.

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage.” — Lao Tzu A dying man will regret not loving, but won’t regret having loved or having been loved. Love is free. The only restrictions are what one imposes. It is unlimited, timeless, space less, and can even be effortless as it comes naturally. It is not merely an emotion, but energy with unlimited benefits including the capacity to repair relationships, heal the wounded, and bridge the gaps in life. When love is experienced, the genuine soul is exposed. Nothing shines brighter on a person than love.

Family where life begins & love never ends.

On my wedding day with the first man I ever loved. Daddy gave me away, but he never let me go.

On my wedding day with the first man I ever loved. Daddy gave me away, but he never let me go.

25 thoughts on “The Shine of Genuine

  1. Suzi, what a beautiful post!

    “When we let go of the deceased we’re not letting go of their love for us or ours for them. We’re letting go of their physical presence and hanging onto the love through memory and legacy.”

    Amen!

    Loved that first quote too! “Families are made in the heart.”

    So happy to read that you had this wonderful celebration, my friend!

    Beautiful photo of you and your Daddy…X

  2. Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing. That quote is so important because when that stops, the family may fall apart. I loved seeing your photos on FB!

      • Clearly I was so moved, I couldn’t even form sentences. You never fail to strike a chord with me Suzi, sometimes chords I wasn’t even aware of. This one though, while a beautiful tribute to your father, spoke to me as we prepare to gather with my family for a wedding this weekend. Our recent loss will be felt certainly, but as you quote, life is a balance of hanging on & letting go.

  3. Fitting tribute. It must be wonderful to look at others in your family and see the respect and love in action–something that is evident in the brief glimpses that you give us through your writing.

    • It was very fitting for him and comforting for us. My father was the great storyteller of his generation and no one will fill his shoes. At least, everyone has fabulous memories of him and his stories. Thank you for stopping by, Linda.

  4. Oh, Susan. I loved this tribute to love and life. The picture of you and your Dad and your words had me in tears this morning.

    Thank you for writing this post. It offers comfort to those who have experienced similar losses. xoxo

    • Thank you, Rudri.
      I have yet to be able to write in depth about his illness and death. I just can’t go there yet, as I can only manage to skim the surface as this point. I’m sure it will be cathartic for me when I am able.

  5. Such a beautiful, heartfelt tribute, Suzi. A dad is always a little girl’s first love, and you’ve written so poignantly about yours. Great idea, holding a family celebration in his memory (and I’ll bet he was looking down from Heaven and smiling, too!)

    • Daddy’s are definitely our first love. He teased me all my life about telling him I was going to marry him when I grew up; guess I was probably about five when I said it.

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