Families, communities, and nations are strengthened by individuals who make time in busy lives for family. My husband and I returned early this morning from a four-week trip to visit children and grandchildren. As my regular readers may have guessed, I chose to invest my time with family rather than write blog posts for a few days. We saw other family members and long-time friends, but we took the trip to strengthen our relationships with our own posterity.
We had the opportunity to visit with my older brother and his wife. My brother’s health has been declining in recent years and continues to do so. He has his good days and his bad days, but his condition is not good. My sister-in-law carries a heavy burden – literally – in her attempt to make my brother comfortable at home. She is assisted by her children, grandchildren, neighbors, and friends, but the major part of responsibility falls on her. We were grateful to be able to help her for a few days, and we wish we could be of more service there.
We also had the opportunity to have lunch and visit with one of my cousins. We had only two hours together, but we covered a lot of years and experiences in that time.
We saw some long-time friends in the temple and had a good visit with them in the waiting room and while walking to our cars. We watched another long-time friends in a starring role in a local play production. We knew that he had a beautiful singing voice, but we had our first experience of watching him act. He did a good job!
We had some time to rest and relax on our own, but we spent most of our time with children and grandchildren. We attended numerous activities where our grandchildren took part: dance presentation, high school play, and several soccer, hockey, and basketball games. We even attended a Cub Scout pack meeting.
We gave our support as a daughter and grandson ran a 15K race that ended with a climb up some steep steps. Our daughter took first place in the Masters Division (over 40) and her son took first place in his division (probably 15 and under). She was the third woman to come in, and he was the sixth runner to come in overall. We had the opportunity to attend a Veterans Day program and lunch with a granddaughter and a Thanksgiving lunch with a grandson.
We joined our posterity for nightly scripture study and prayer. We united in fasting and prayer with our posterity for a daughter-in-law who was undergoing serious surgery, and we rejoiced when no obvious cancer was found. We also joined with our extended family in praying for a sister who had her eye removed, a niece who had cancer surgery, a cousin fighting cancer, and other family members who are undergoing challenging situations. We felt great unity in our family because we were helping other people to bear their heavy burdens.
We rejoiced to know that grandchildren appreciate the things that we do for them. Three granddaughters were pleased to receive handmade quilts made specifically for them, and three teenagers expressed appreciation for the scriptures that we purchased and marked for them as baptismal gifts when they were eight years old. We are pleased to see that realize the value of the teaching notes written in their scriptures.
We enjoyed our time with family and feel that the time and money were well spent. More trips will be made in the future because we know that strong families require quality time together, and strong families bring strength to their communities and nations.