I’ll tell you this –I felt smooshed on the 4th of July. Every chair had some aunt or grandma or cousin in it, plus a few borrowed friends crowbarred in. There I was trying to be sad because there was no dad in this celebration except for our story telling about him, and those two kids of mine all grown up with husband and job. No fun texting them Happy Fourth.
But I just couldn’t find a place, you know, where somebody wasn’t huggin’ or lovin’ on me.
No space without a How you doing?
No room for tears without a sympathetic look or a disarming opportunity to laugh.
Sometimes a big ol’ family full of its share of quirky ones and not-so-perfect ones (except the normal and mostly perfect ones, and we know who we are) can take up so much room with love and tenderness that sorrow can’t seem to find a place to sit down.
My brother asked if it was because I was sad that I wasn’t going to the 4th of July Parade, and then I was crying and he was bear hugging while all the rest stood around in the kitchen watching me sniffle. All of them feeling the loss of dad with me.
Then pretty soon I was at the parade because of my love for them and their love for me.
But who let this certain aunt get a hold of the Super Soaker, I would like to ask?
There was one entertaining uncle who was judging fashion do’s and dont’s as the crowd milled around us. The Superman shirt on him -definitely a fashion DO. Although a certain other favorite niece to the right there seems dubious.
There was a sighting of one grandma and two most-adorable nieces on a library float.
But mostly enough family love to last an entire parade.
Although at times in conjunction with spraying water.
So here’s what I have to say to you today. Crowd somebody out.
Somebody you know is hurting inside, and you could come in close with all your quirkiness and not-so-perfectness (we all know you’re the weird one of the family, eh?) and love the sorrow right out of ‘em.
Do your normal thing –maybe it’s the shtick that draws a laugh or putting a plate of comfy food in front or rubbing a hand gently on the back. Or maybe do one of those can’t-breathe-too-tight hugs or a more subtle catch of the eye and a look that says, I know you’re having a hard time.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15 NASB)
Smoosh in close.
Be the family somebody needs today.