It’s that magical time of year again, the time when we get to travel to see my family on the East Coast.
I love this family vacation more than words can express.
My two brothers, two sisters, two sisters-in-law, one brother-in-law, six nephews and two nieces, and my parents, all converge in one beach house for seven glorious days. This year, there will be two significant others added to the mix, too.
I say it’s glorious. It is, but we have our moments. The coffee pot is emptied pretty much as soon as it’s filled. Packing beach lunches for 10 kids is an exercise in precise logistics. Sharing a bathroom with anyone isn’t fun, but sharing with your brother, his wife, their son and your two boys can be dicey first thing in the morning.
However, we do it and we do it with happy hearts because the biggest blessing of all is to be together.
I never take the annual visit for granted, especially because I really only see my family once a year, but I’m extra thankful for the relationships we have with each other. I’ve seen so many of my friends’ families deteriorate this year. One lost a father and all her siblings went to war over his estate. Another is estranged from her sister and brother. Yet another is struggling, by herself, with the care of their elderly mother while the rest of her family stands by without helping.
It’s not easy being family. You don’t get to choose who you are born to and raised with. I’m just thankful and appreciative that we still enjoy this week at the beach, together, every year.