Family and friends, young and old, came out to celebrate my grandson's first birthday yesterday. Such a lucky little boy! Within his extended family, ages ranged from his newest second cousin, born just last month, to the great-grandfather celebrating ninety-one next month. On this day, a snapshot of my grandson's family included his parents, sister, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. This gathering reminded me that often, when we hear the word family, we think of a fixed group - usually, but not always, consisting of our living relatives. Of course, when we take a moment to consider, we know that family more accurately refers to a fluid group. We understand that family continually shifts with each gain and each loss.
Leaping far ahead, if it is his destiny, in ninety years my grandson will be the age his great-grandfather is now, and it is quite possible that not one of my grandson's relatives in attendance yesterday will be around. Morbid thought? Not really. The love and support he received from all those attending the party will remain with him, always. And hopefully, all his future celebrations will be just as magnificent as this one was.