The soul cannot forgive until it
is restored to wholeness and health.
In the absence of love - how can one forgive?

With an abundance of love, starting with one's self,
forgiveness becomes a viable opportunity.
-Nancy Richards

Monday, August 18, 2008

My Old, “New” Family Tradition

Sixteen years ago, when I became estranged from my entire family of origin, the prospect of starting over, all alone without any family seemed very daunting.

Just as with mourning any physical death, the emotional deaths I experienced cut off from my family were overwhelming; first family vacations, birthdays, holidays – all the events that suddenly vanished with no connection to my history.

Prior to estrangement, my children had spent their weekends and summer vacations at our “family” vacation home on the lake, just as I had as a child, and as my father had before me. I was Ill- equipped to deal with the enormity of this loss in tandem with the loss of my family. We needed a new traditional get-away that would become special to my children and me. We chose the San Juan Islands as an annual destination and began building new memories before we even had a chance to mourn the old.

For the first few years, I just went through the motions of doing something new. My heart was not in the task before me, nor with the new environment surrounding me. A number of years passed before I realized that we had developed a new tradition that was less stressful than my prior experience. Although I never stopped mourning the lake, our vacations became a time of fun and excitement.

For the past 14 years, my daughters and I have reminisced about our prior summers on the island while we continue to create new memories. We look forward to the same traditional activities, good food, exercise, enjoying one another’s company, and teasing each other with the same “inside” family vacation jokes.

We leave tomorrow for our fifteenth annual “new” family tradition. Be back next week!

1 comment:

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