Families that stick together are happier and stronger and can bring strength to their communities and nations. I feel certain that there are some – maybe many – families that would not agree with my opening sentence at this time. We are well into the second week of the fifteen-day order to shelter in place, and some families may be a little too crowded together. I saw this poem by Edgar Albert Guest titled “The Stick-Together Families” and thought that it may help all families feel better about their sudden togetherness.
The Stick-Together Families
The stick-together families are happier by far
Than the brothers and the sisters who take separate highways are.
The gladdest people living are the wholesome folks who make
A circle at the fireside that no power but death can break.
And the finest of conventions ever held beneath the sun
Are the little family gatherings when the busy day is done.
There are rich folk, there are poor folk, who imagine they are wise,
And they're very quick to shatter all the little family ties.
Each goes searching after pleasure in his own selected way,
Each with strangers likes to wander, and with strangers likes to play.
But it's bitterness they harvest, and it's empty joy they find,
For the children that are wisest are the stick-together kind.
There are some who seem to fancy that for gladness they must roam,
That for smiles that are the brightest they must wander far from home.
That the strange friend is the true friend, and they travel far astray
They waste their lives in striving for a joy that's far away,
But the gladdest sort of people, when the busy day is done,
Are the brothers and the sisters who together share their fun.
It's the stick-together family that wins the joys of earth,
That hears the sweetest music and that finds the finest mirth;
It's the old home roof that shelters all the charm that life can give;
There you find the gladdest play-ground, there the happiest spot to live.
And, O weary, wandering brother, if contentment you would win,
Come you back unto the fireside and be comrade with your kin.
I encourage you to make these days of togetherness in our homes the best possible memories for your children and teens. Do your best to make these days into happy memories for your posterity. My siblings and I grew up in a house that was too small for our family, but the togetherness we felt keeps us close to each other in our old age. I know that being a stick-together family brings great happiness and strength and prepares children and teens to make a difference for good in their communities and nations.