Creamer column: The love of family

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 29, 2011

My mother had been living in the same place for over 24 years. For the most part she liked her place. But circumstances changed and my mother needed to move out. We, her children, put our heads together to find a new place for Mom to live. My brother found a great place in an excellent location. My mother saw some pictures and then took a leap of faith.
My mother used to live in Virginia Beach, close to my younger sister. Her new place is in Greensboro, North Carolina, which is closer to her other three children. Once my mother decided to move to Carolina, the next step was working out all the logistical details in getting her here.
We all studied the calendar and decided that last weekend would work best for all of us to make the big move. Mom worked for over a month going through all of her stuff, trying to make decisions about what would come and what had to go. She was moving from a three-bedroom townhouse to a two-bedroom condo. She had some difficult decisions to make.
Moving day arrived and all the children and some grandchildren arrived to make the move happen. Thank God for the grandchildren and a dear friend on the packing end. We were able to get the truck loaded in good time. On the unpacking end, we had help from grandchildren and their significant others to unload and help my mother set up her new place. When all the work was done, we sat as one huge family sharing a hearty, warm meal around my motherís table in her new home.
I am blessed to have three siblings who are all close and who came together in many ways to make this happen for our mother. My mother is lucky to have 13 grandchildren. Two of her grandchildren are getting married next month. My mother is already a great-grandmother and I am sure some of these newly married grandchildren will be adding to her legacy before long.
I am a very lucky man to have such a close-knit family. We all lead busy lives so we donít get to see each other as often as we may like, but we all know that we are here for each other no matter what. Weíve come together to celebrate moments of great joy and we have been there for each other when the road was a little rocky. We arenít perfect; weíve all got our own problems and trials, but we are a family, and a close one at that.
The Bible teaches us that we have another family, our spiritual family. Here again I count myself blessed because I have many brothers and sisters in the Lord who have stood beside me through thick and thin. Some of my closest brothers in the Lord know me, really know me, and they still love me. It is great to know that when you are walking through a dark place you can turn not only to your family but also your spiritual family for the love and support you need.
There is also a responsibility to being in a family. While I want others to be with me when I am going through tough times, I need to be there for others when they are facing dark moments. In our society, families are not always close to each other in proximity, so we will sometimes grow closer to our spiritual families. So when someone in our church family suffers a loss we need to be willing to do our part for that family.
Being there for others doesnít always require that we do something. Sometimes we just need to be there to listen. We live in such a busy and schedule-driven society itís hard to slow down and take time to talk and listen. Sometimes what people need most is compassion and empathy to help them make it through their situation. Sometimes we can do simple things like make a meal or fix something needing repair, and brighten a gloomy day.
I want to encourage you to consider how you might be there for someone in your immediate family and your church family. So many people forget the simple power of prayer to change a situation. Itís a gift when we can give our time to others whether it be listening, praying, or actually doing something to make their lives a little better. Find a way this week that you can bless someone you love by letting them know you are there for them.
Doug Creamer teaches marketing at East Davidson High School. His website is at