Traditions, Bonds and Family

Probably like a lot of kids with parents who were busy persevering, parents who broke ties with their rituals or were pulled away from family and religion because of life’s circumstances, I was raised with no traditions. For a few years my Mom dressed me up in a fancy outfit and hat on Easter and I had a few Easter egg hunts . Of course there was a Christmas tree each year but I struggled with the idea of Santa and when I was seven or eight years old my Mom said she had to put $40 under the tree for Santa. My parents were busy making a living, there was no time for checking off lists to Santa. During my childhood my step Mom was an atheist, my Mom a unitarian or metaphysicist and my Dad seemed to be unaffiliated with any faith except for a few years when he enjoyed the 8am service at an Episcopal church where my sisters were baptized. My Mom talked to me about God, I prayed and felt close to him all of my life and for that I am so grateful. My Grandfather wore a pendant of a saint around his neck all of his life, the one which his birth date belonged to. I have that pendant and I wear it or hold it sometimes. My Dad also wears his saint’s pendant on a long gold chain, just like his Dad did. When I was a newborn and in my young years, the older woman who cared for me had a small statue of Jesus Christ in her home where he had sticks as crutches and was bloodied and mostly unclothed with a couple of dogs accompanying him. I thought nothing of these diverse spiritual influences in my life as a child or young adult. I am so thankful for them now. These bold individuals living their lives their way, feeling their own relationships with spirit or a larger whole in their own styles. Each adult in my life following their heart, connecting to their faith in their way, sent a message to me that my faith was mine and there was not a wrong way. I hope to pass their strengths and inspirations on to my children. Thinking of this with a grateful heart today. -smilingbug

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