“The greatest joy is to love and be loved”. Allow me to start with my family of origin. I have great love for my family and I feel loved by my parents and siblings. It did not just happen. We nourished this gift. When I was young, I longed for a closer relationship with my father. He was emotionally distant. He thought that it was the way for us to respect him. But he was a wonderful provider and a great storyteller. He took us to fun trips: like visiting relatives, swimming, eating-out, or just driving around town or out of town. Remembering today these fun memories gives me joy.
In college, I shared this need to have a relationship with my father to my spiritual director and he said: “Why don’t you start it”. I was so scared to start a conversation with my father. How could it be done? One Monday, as he drove me to school, I just took a leap of faith. I shared with him that I was attracted to a friend of mine. Can you imagine that - Grace, what were you thinking? Was this the first topic you want to talk about with your dad? Are you crazy! You know his rule was not to have a boyfriend until you finished college! Well, my father was gracious to me that day, he just listened and I thought I saw a smile from him. I was so glad I did that first step. After that my relationship with my father bloomed. We had more family fun trips and this time we travelled like friends. And there is more love and respect.
My Life’s Lessons
I ASKED. “Ask and you shall receive”. It is so difficult to ask for a favor, more so to ask for a genuine friendship. But I wanted a deep relationship not only with my father but with each member of my family.
DO FUN THINGS TOGETHER. We love to eat. I remembered every dinner time we had to eat together. We started talking and we stayed sitting in the dining table for hours laughing and telling stories. It warms my heart.
KEEP IN TOUCH. Never stop nourishing relationships. I live 7,000 miles away from my family of origin. Thanks to social media, we see each other at least once a week.
Create amazing relationships!