Sometimes it takes a dramatic event to remind us of the importance of friends and family relationships. This week I attended three ceremonies representing different parts of my family – a wedding, a funeral, and a baby naming.

At the wedding I was reminded how emotionally satisfying it feels to welcome new members into the circle of closeness. They can never really understand the shared memories of the past but they can be a part of the new ones that are created together. At the funeral, spending time with cousins that I hadn’t seen in a long time, I was taken back to the innocence and fun of our past times together, never expecting that one day they would end. The letting go was hard, but the connections remain forever. And, of course, the baby naming was full of the hope for the future that we all share as we deal with the vagaries of each day. This little baby, a mixture of two cultures, especially represented the optimism of a new start as two very different families were cemented together by one precious new life.

Looking back on the very full week, I was thankful that I could experience the emotional roller coaster ride with my friends and extended family – it was certainly an example of the Circle of Life.

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