My grandfather turned 90 years old yesterday. We had a birthday party where the entire family came together to celebrate this amazing milestone. I can’t tell you how lucky we feel to still have him so mentally coherent, positive, caring and grateful for the life he has lived at such an old age.
He got up at the end of the party to speak and had the entire room silent. Everyone listened with open ears to every word he said and it was amazing see how much of a presence he had over everyone. It was not until that moment in time that I actually realized how and why family is so strong and started thinking about what I could do to be a better family member and came up with these points that I will live by from this day forward.
Here is some advice to ensure you do your part as a valued family member:
· Tell them you love them on a consistent basis (you never know when you will never be able to again)
· Call or visit them as frequently as you can
· Spend your time effectively by having quality conversations about life and don’t think that time with is good enough
· Learn as much as you can from your parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents (they have been in your shoes before and we can benefit from their experience)
· Remember birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions
· Learn to forgive and forget (life is too short to hold grudges)
· Make an effort to help and show thanks where possible (after all, they are the ones who have helped you turn into the person you are today)
· Make them proud to call you family (be honorable, honest, caring and selfless)
· Help a family member in need
· Pay it forward to younger brothers, sisters, cousins and keep the learning cycle moving
· Ensure you keep them updated with your successes or struggles as they will be there to celebrate or provide advice where possible.
· Be proud to have family – whether you agree or disagree with whatever they do, they will always be a part of you
You can take or leave this advice – it is there to help draw closer connections to your family and work on being the best family member you can!