Whenever an extended family gets together, there are good memories on sad occasions, such as funerals, and a touch of bittersweet feelings at joyous events such as weddings and graduation parties.

In a few months, I will be joining the majority of my cousins in the 60 and above age category. So when we gathered at the high school graduation party for my cousins' granddaughter, there was a lot to get caught up on with them, their children and grandchildren.

The newest and soon-to-be additions to the family were discussed, as were what colleges their older grandchildren were attending or would attend.

The hours flew by as we found out what was going in each other's lives, a rare opportunity in these days when we are separated by hundreds of miles.

There was a time when my Dad and Mother, my siblings and I got together many times in the course of the year on holidays, birthdays and other occasions with my Aunt Catherine and Uncle Johnny and their family and Aunt Jane and Uncle Al and their clan.

It was hard not to imagine how proud our parents' generation would have been to see how well their children and their children's spouses and their extended families are doing today. I am sure that they are pleased, knowing the legacy of love and faith they left behind.

But with families we can only see to the horizons before us and behind us. Our vision is limited to the setting sun of past generations and the dawn of new ones. We cannot share our lives with those who went before us and those who will arrive after us.

However, we can strive to follow the example of our parents and one day see them again. Then, we will not have to be worried about horizons or the sun setting or rising.

We will be together in the presence of the Son and in an eternity of love.


Faith in and love of God are a family's greatest heritage.