Family Comes First

This week’s Mom’s Monday Memo is written by Dad, not Mom, so it should probably be added as an edition to Dad’s Dissertation. 

Family comes first. These words are easy to say but more difficult to put into action. I have said this often but have not lived it to the fullest. We get busy raising kids and attending sporting events or performances. We try to pack or cram as much activity into our vacations until we are exhausted. We look to fill our spare time with stimulating or thrilling activities.

imageSeveral events have occurred during the past weeks that have driven home the importance of family and friends. Recently, a number of friends have lost close family members. Without question each friend would have valued one more quiet dinner with their loved one. Dee and I hosted Thanksgiving for 34 family and extended family members. It was so gratifying watching cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents laughing on the front lawn while enjoying dinner.

Dee and I made it a priority to attend my uncle’s 90th birthday celebration in Birmingham this past weekend. Though my uncle has severely impaired speech, his appreciation for his family was clear through his hugs and kisses.


As I think about the most meaningful experiences in my life, I do not think of the places I have travelled or the activities I enjoyed. It is the time with people that really matters. I remember sitting around a table with cousins after a birthday or funeral laughing until we cry. It is the enjoyment of engaging in a board game with our daughters and son-in-laws. I value the conversations I have had with my father or father-in-law while sitting in a small fishing boat on a foggy morning. These are my most memorable times. The common denominator has been taking the time to be attentive to those who are the most important to you.

Before it is too late, slow down and take the time to place your family first. It will be the most important gift that you can give and receive this Christmas season.

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