By Joseph J. Mazzella • May 6, 2019
When I was a boy our extended, immigrant family would sometimes gather together at my Great Aunt’s tiny house over the summer. Relatives from all over the country would come in to visit. The adults would crowd together in the living room, around the kitchen table, and on the front porch to talk and catch up on each other’s lives. All of us kids would be sent out into the front yard to play while dinner would slowly cook for all of us.
Those were the days before video games, smart phones, and motorized toys, so we often ended up playing a good old-fashioned game of tag. I remember one of those times especially. I was the youngest and smallest of all the kids there so I got caught first and couldn’t catch anyone else. As hard as I chased after my brothers and cousins they were all too fast for me. I grew more and more frustrated. I finally lunged at one of my brothers and fell face first into the dirt. I got up with tears forming in my eyes. Then I saw one of my female cousins standing there. She started to run but was going much slower than before. I easily caught up and tagged her. Then she turned to me, smiled, and said, “I’m it! You’d better run!” I ran off laughing with glee while she turned and started to chase one of my older brothers.
I see now how her act of kindness that day saved me from sadness and returned me to joy. It didn’t matter that we hardly ever saw each other. We were family and she loved me.
In her wonderful book: BOX OF BUTTERFLIES, the “Touched by an Angel” actress Roma Downey writes, “We are all one, we all belong to each other, we are one big, beautiful family of God.” Perhaps it is time that we all started to treat each other that way. Perhaps it is time that we shared our love, our kindness, our laughter, and our joy with everyone without fear. Perhaps it is time to finally and forever bring this world together in one, big, family reunion.
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