The months of May and June traditionally are full of family celebrations, capsule graduations from colleges, cialis universities and high schools. “Moving up” ceremonies in middle schools and primary schools are happening all over the nation. Spring is a classic time for weddings and traditionally ushers in the summer season of celebrations, remedy family vacations and reunions. There is nothing as priceless as the all-consuming joy that comes with each celebratory event in which families, large and small, participate. The shared sense of responsibility parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins and friends feel as their son or daughter walks across the stage to receive their diploma or degree or exchange vows of love with their new husband or wife is jubilant and, dare I say, that jubilation is even more exuberant within families of color for all kinds of reasons I will not discuss here.
Many, many families are celebrating college graduates for the first time in their history here in the United States of America, whether they be among the First Nations, descendants of enslaved Africans, or Immigrants of Color from many nations. As we gather together, we celebrate for one another across families, ethnicities, and national origin. We celebrate for and with one another. It is a joyous time of communal recognition for a job well done by all. A job well done in spite of the odds and through the challenges that almost overwhelmed us.
Family is a powerful and potent force of nature. As with other forces in nature, it can yield both life-affirming influence as well as devastating consequences. When families love and support one another, there is nothing that cannot be accomplished. Conversely, when families sow the seeds of discourse and disconnection or dissent, the corresponding consequences can be devastatingly destructive. Love covers a multitude of wrongdoing. It conquers and endures forever. No disagreement or offense should ever come between the love that family has for one another, and yet it sometimes does. Time is a finite thing and it passes quickly by. There is never enough of it, and it will never return once it has past. These major family events and celebrations can never be re-played. They are once in a lifetime moments and should not be missed for any reason. Regret is an awful feeling to live with for the rest of your life.
This week, we celebrated the marriage of our daughter. We celebrated two families potently and powerfully sharing in the joy and the all-consuming power of love. I know personally how powerful family has been in my life and how important the role they play continues to be. No matter how complicated or complex some of our relationships become sometimes, I KNOW that I KNOW there is a season for family celebrations, and we must partake exuberantly while that season is here. One day, we will not have some of our family members here with us, or we will not be here with them…TIME is passing…don’t let it pass you by. Conciliate your differences and enjoy the time you have been given…it will not last forever; it is here only for a season.
Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, Ph.D.
Founder and Artistic Director
The Conciliation Project and
Virginia Commonwealth University
Up Next Week: Memorials for Memorial Day