A large, faith-filled family is more than the sum of its parts – it is the sum of its hearts.
You don’t get to be grandparents in good standing by just standing by. You must actively take part in all that makes a family. You must realize also that, as your children marry and have children, your extended family increases exponentially and becomes lovingly intertwined with in-laws, uncles, aunts, and many, many cousins.
So it was this week. My beautiful Spouse had the great honor and privilege to sponsor dearest Granddaughter #3 in the Holy Sacrament of Confirmation. It was for my sweet Wife an awesome and humbling experience accompanied by solemn responsibility and commitment. Though pictures were taken, they could not capture the radiance and peace that shown on our Granddaughter’s face that evening.
We then journeyed through time from the singular joy of Tuesday evening at the Cathedral to a raucous and jovial gathering of the clans on Saturday afternoon. Slightly less than 40 souls bound by family ties and friendship joined together in rural Virginia to celebrate the Confirmation. Three essential elements of the gathering of a true family set the theme for the day – prayer, food, and baseball.
Prayer: It was not and could not be forgotten why we were assembled in that loving home – Granddaughter #3’s Confirmation. All gifts, greetings, and actions centered around our common faith. No food would be eaten until thankful prayer was said. That is what we do in our family.
Food: The dining room and kitchen were both filled with an array of the tastiest assortment of party food. No one, not one single person could say that there wasn’t something there on those tables that wasn’t a special delight for him or her. Many brought special dishes or treats with them. For example Serendipity Farmhouse provided a fantastic banana nut bread, a jar of G&G’s Serendipitous Salsa, a jar of G&G’s Nick of Thyme Salsa, and a jar of Pete’s Pickled Jalapeno Peppers (the jars within the yellow circle). Unfortunately, yours Truly didn’t take a picture until the hungry hoard had made their first pass through the food line.
Baseball: It must be explained that all in this wonderful extended family are great baseball fans. Many have roots in Houston, Texas. So, it goes without saying that enthusiasm was running higher than usual. All were convinced that the Astros were going to the World Series and that, once there at the Series, they would promptly trounce the Nationals. With that background in mind and understanding that the party venue was blessed with enough acreage for a full sized baseball field, it is no wonder that balls, bats, helmets, and gloves quickly made their appearance and – the game was on.
Some families have feuds. That is unfortunate. Our family has friendly rivalries. This is how parents can challenge children and teach them to grow into adulthood. So, the match up of a father against a son on a baseball diamond is a priceless moment. It speaks to the meaning of a family – a place where children are nurtured and brought to maturity.
And that, gentle Reader, is just a part of how we spent our week – how we spent our days for Faith and Family.