I've got a family party coming up soon, and was reflecting on how good it is to have family support, even when it's not the closest in the world. I don't see all that much of my wider family, but over the years we've had some big celebrations together and have always encouraged each other in times of trouble and rejoiced in each others' happiness.
I remember the earliest parties, carefree as a child, and then later as we became young adults, grudgingly attending what we then considered 'boring'. Then marrieds and parents, taking our own children along with us. We were young with our lives bright with promise for the future ahead, but there were always the older generation there too, (grandparents and old aunts and uncles) whom we were delighted to see, albeit often only on those occasions.
Now, seemingly in no time at all, I'm one of the old aunts/grandmothers/great grandmothers! We've dispersed over many miles and even many countries over the years, but how lovely it is to reunite for an evening of family fun and gossip.
But at the same time, it's quite apparent how we oldsters are becoming less able. Some of us limping in on sticks, some with the beginnings of dementia and some with life shortening challenges. We're now the family members reaching out to others for some help.
It's an occasion for some reflection on life as a whole, about how quickly it flies by when you look back, but how it is enhanced if you have some family you know are fighting your corner.
So to all who are looking after relatives, whether it's close family or wider, the very best wishes to you all today. Even when it's a difficult and tiring journey, looking after a loved one does bring with it a special feeling of having contributed to the well-being of a member of your very own tribe.