My family piled into the car from my small Tennessee hometown and headed to my great aunt and uncle's home in metropolitan Nashville.
My uncle is my maternal grandfather's only sibling and we used to spend a lot more time with his family when my great-grandparents were alive.
Since the older generations have passed on and everybody has gotten married and started families of their own, it's easy to scatter with the wind. It's also much easier than I'd like to go an entire year without seeing your family.
My cousin's 5-year old daughter was helping her mom decorate for the holiday and in doing so, looked at some Thanksgiving photos from the previous year. She was very sad to find that she didn't recognize the faces and said to her grandmother, "Nana, I don't know my family."
What seems like a childlike sentiment, I believe she hit the nail on the head. In order to truly know someone, we must spend time with them and invest in their life. Because I spent more of my childhood years in closer contact with my great uncle, he knows that I love RC Cola, but only ever get to enjoy it at his house.
When we arrived to his home on Thanksgiving, I was quickly shown where my RC Cola was stashed and ended up drinking two!
But we can't expect to know our family if we only see them on holidays. And while it's wonderful to sit around and reminisce about the past, it's also important to create new memories that we can look back on in the future.
I'm going to take some time in the coming year to forge new bonds with my family. It doesn't take a lot of work, but it can enrich our lives in so many ways.
[image via by Government & Heritage Library, State Library of NC (contact)]