Family time is important

(Compton Bulletin) – Spending time with family is a beautiful thing. Sometimes in the middle of all the hustle and bustle that we do, we tend to overlook spending quality time with our families.

It does not matter if the family dynamic you interact with is within your palm’s reach or extended family that you might see and visit every now and then.

At the end of the day, when you are in a hospital room or playing sports having a barbeque in your backyard, spending time with family is something that many of us take for granted. Not that we want to, but because of our busy schedules, we might overlook that part.

There is a tendency to say that you might stop by later or get to a particular relative by phone once you settle down from all the running that you do. The problem with that line of thinking later may never happen.

I will never forget one day I was coming to an event in Long Beach, and I was about a mile away from where my mom and dad lived.

It was a Sunday evening. For several years, I made it a point to see my father every Sunday, just so I could spend time with him, whether it was watching sports or just talking about life in general.

This one evening I wanted to see my dad, but I leaned over to my wife and told her I would stop by my parent’s house the next day. I figured that it was late, and my dad needed to rest. I never got the opportunity to see my dad alive again as he was suddenly taken away from us the next morning.

I learned a hard lesson from that day, and that is do not put off for tomorrow what you can do today. It has been 18 years since I lost my dad, but sometimes I wonder what if I had made that left turn and just driven down to his house? Would it have lessened the pain of losing a loved one abruptly? Probably not.

It would have stung just as much. When my dad left, I realized I had to be more engaged with family members. A phone call here, a letter there, or a short text to someone you care about matters. It takes less than two minutes to communicate to someone I love you or have a wonderful day.

Sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, long-lost cousins, uncles, and aunts, they all need embracing. Sometimes we think our simple greetings via social media might not mean anything, but it can save a life or uplift in encouragement.

I had the opportunity over the summer to see a part of my mother’s family I had never met before. I have to say my heart was warmed over with tears from all the family I did not know I had. And everyone showed my California family nothing but love during this family reunion.

I remember feeling a bit of trepidation because I was worried about being judged because I never met any of these individuals in my life. What a blessing it turned out to be. My mother, before she left this earth, held my feet to the fire and told me to never forget her side of the family. And so, I made this trek to Dallas, Texas, in the summer to find out who my family was. The instant connection I felt let me know how beautiful a family can be.

Dennis J. Freeman Written by:

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