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October 5, 2010

I have been thinking recently about my family, and how I define family.

Both my mother and my father come from large, loving families, so I have never lacked for family. However, I was always expanding my family. I have a few families where I am the honorary aunt, and I enjoy being a part of their family, as well as the family I was born into. And of course, I enjoy being aunt to my brother’s family!

But here in Walagu, just over a week ago, when a co-worker’s little girl died, I was thinking again about family. Here in Walagu we have lived and worked closely together now for over 10 years. My namesake is part of this co-worker’s extended-family. Therefore, I’m also part of the extended family. When we lost little Asena, it did feel just like a family member had died. We are still grieving that loss.
Then this last week, I received the news that my uncle had died. It made me miss my family and my father so much more than usual. The co-translators were working on a special writing assignment, so I had used that time to catch up on emails. So, I was sitting at the table reading my incoming emails when I read about the death of my uncle. I began to cry right away. I think that their first response was just like any group of men, when a woman would begin to cry. But then their loving compassion kicked-in, and they asked why I was crying. I told them that my father’s brother had died. They already knew that my father was dead. Here, the father’s brother would be responsible for you just as your father would be, especially in a situation like mine, where my father is no longer here. So, they were well able to feel my pain and to grieve with me.
So, now, although I do very much miss my father and my family, I am here also surrounded by family. Please do pray for all of in our grieving, that the Loving Heavenly Father would send us comfort, love, and peace.

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