There is something about being involved with a local newspaper. You get to cover a lot of territory. Some things you see or participate in can make you very happy, and some things so sad.
When things occur that make you and others sad or disappointed, you wish there was something you could do to change it, or at least make it a little better.
I was fortunate enough recently to share in the celebrations of some very happy birthdays, and also shed some tears with families who were grieving. Through the years, I have interviewed a great number of people, and through it all I kept thinking, “What's really important here?” My answer is always, “Family!”
How important is one’s family? Very. The close relationship with one’s family is a blessing more valued than anything one can possess.
So often we take for granted the value we have in being a family. We forget how important family is in our good times and in our not-so-good times. Family is the glue that holds everything and everyone together. We hope and pray that the warm feeling of family is there when we need it most. The sharing of thoughts, words and deeds make those experiences precious to our lives.
In this fast-paced world where activities often overlap or speed along much too fast, we often forfeit our need for "family time." Time spent at the table together, where we not only share our meal but also the communication that goes with it, is so important.
It is exciting to see generations of families together at special events like birthday and anniversary parties. Attending school, church and community events together is important. Events like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Baptisms, Confirmation, and school events like Homecoming, plays, and musical programs, are so much more important when they are spent together with one’s family. The pride and joy of not only parents but siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles and community family members is like endorsing a personal check for that child, young adult or older adult’s value. It is a time of “remember when” and realizing the changes made in one’s lifetime.
It is also very important for families to spend time together when they have lost a loved one. Remembering times spent together will help get them through some of the difficult days ahead.
It was interesting to me that the Arnold Lund family recently took Dad, at age 95, to a Minnesota Twins game. I wonder if he had ever been to one before? What a day they had! What memories they all will have of that special day they allspent together. Arnold loved it and said, "I will never forget this day that I was able to spend with my family."
It is not always easy when parents are independent and think they can take care of themselves. We may have to slip in from time to time, and do things for them which will allow them to live their life to the fullest. It is good to know that God is there to look over them as well.
Today, there are more combined families – “yours, mine and ours.” It works to our advantage if one understands. It just means more family to love and there are ways to make it happen in a favorable way.
We should not overlook the fact that “families” are not necessarily biological. Church families come first to mind, people who gather together not only to worship together but to share other activities and acts of kindness. There are people who pass on their convictions through the generations and they are easy to pick out.
The recent First Baptist Church in Clarks Groves' 150th Anniversary celebration brought out the evidence of ancestors who were strong-willed and early investors in the church. It is not so difficult to trace family lines across generations, through marriages and activities in the church.
The older one gets, the more one remembers and cherishes friends from school, neighborhoods, work, play, and events like class reunions and athletic events with these "new families."
There are “work families” who become close through their jobs. “Sports families” who participate or root for a common cause or team. "Neighborhood families” or “block-party families” - not always as strong as they once were because of the nomadic life we sometimes have to lead, but they are willing to be there in times of need, as well as in times of joy.
Then there are the families who grow out of the needs of others. I think of all those involved with our cancer and food shelf benefit fund-raisers, as well as events that are held to help others through difficult times. Families that start events, work events and sometimes benefit from these same types of events, and have drawn closer to each other through the common cause.
There is an old saying - "We scold the most, those we love the most," and it's true. We sometimes hurt others in our family in ways that we would never hurt a stranger. But beneath it all there is still love, even if we don't always think so.
Sometimes we don't really appreciate what we already have because we are so focused on what we want, or don't think that we have.
I've learned a lot this past week writing for our local newspaper. I've learned things don't always turn out the way you plan, or the way you think they should have, because people don't always think alike or may mistake your true meaning.
I've learned there are things that go wrong and don't always get fixed the way we would like, or return as they once were.
I've learned that some broken things may always stay broken, but one can get through bad times by continuing to look for better ones.
I've learned that we are all part of God’s family, and with His help to guide us, we will be able to realize the full value of being a part of not only our immediate family but of many other families as well.
Remember: though other things may change us and the world around us, the fact that remains is: it all begins and ends with FAMILY!
Some of our Star Eagle readers have commented they like to read about events such as family and school reunions, birthdays and anniversaries, and birth and wedding announcements. In order to read about these important things we need our faithful readers to pass along the information to us.
This week’s birthdays and anniversaries include:
• Friday, Oct. 25: Mavis Bartsch, Jady Beenken, Dean Van Hal, Charlotte Haberman, Heidi Crabtree Owen, Mikaela Krikava, Spencer & Barb Kubat, Dean & Sandy Jensen, Breanna & Timothy Breidenbach, Heidi & Jason Owen.
• Saturday, Oct. 26: Nadine Strenge, Jannell Tufte, Jeanne Holland, Heather Hove, Reece Gabriel Routh, Jake Andrew Wiersma, Kevin Hamor, Conner Dean Phode.
• Sunday, Oct. 27: Jason Born, David Anderson, Bruce Yanke, James Bremer Jr., Mitchell & Amy Edwards, Donly & Joanne Cromwell.
• Monday, Oct. 28: David Thompson, Jan Sorenson, Lisa Morin, Rick Horan, Randy Horan, Todd Brotizman, Rich Weckwerth, Sue Westrum, Tanner Jorge Wilson, Lyle & Darlyne Paulson, Jane & Jeff Allen, Amanda & Paul Rovnak.
• Tuesday, Oct. 29: Ann Anderson, Scott Klocek, Mark Motl, Bob Haried, Kayli Rose Johnson, Bailey Ann Davis, Warren & Mary Torgerson, Craig & Jennifer Torgerson.
• Wednesday, Oct. 30: Lilly Jane Wacek, Gordon Goette, Angie Broskoff Klemmensen, Allen & Barb Dobberstein.
• Thursday, Oct. 31: Happy Halloween! Kyra Barbara Kotsmith, Brooke Hanson Berg, Heather Wayne, Emily Smith, Bill Klemmensen, Carrie Thompson, Roseann Kasper, Jerry Neitzel, Lorraine Lent, Kaye & Mike Cady, Vonda & Andrew Komba.
• Friday, November 1: Dakota Wangsness, Garrett Wangsness, Troy Hagen, Mike Reistad, Jamie & Sergio Hernandez.
• Saturday, November 2: Gary Dummer, Karen Osmundson, Tracy Farr Simon, Janis Klinger, Troy Sommers, Dan Nord, Sylvia Janet Baker.
Hoping that your special day puts a song in your heart to last the whole year long!