July 29, 2011

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

Celebrate the blessings of home and family

Shirley Vogler MeisterAs I write this column, I am expecting a visit soon from our three daughters and their loved ones, including two grandsons.

At the end of July, our eldest grandson, David, 28, is moving to San Diego, Calif., to begin a new job.

Our youngest grandson, Sam, and his parents just returned to the U.S. after living a year in Haifa, Israel, and traveling to Europe and Africa.

Before they left, our daughters—Donna, Diane and Lisa—gave us the gift of Skype so we could keep track of them as well as our extended family members and friends. It is not the same as being with them personally, of course, but it’s the next best thing in order to keep in touch.

People are now able to travel and keep in touch with others in ways never dreamed about in former years. Methods of communication have changed drastically—so much so that I worry about the future.

However, I remember my parents and their friends worrying about the same things that many of us seem concerned about now.

I also remember my grandparents using a now-archaic term to express their concerns about the state of our youth and the world itself. “Everything’s going to hell in a hand basket,” they would say. That made very little sense to me at the time!

Even though we had our own trials and tribulations when our daughters were youngsters—and what parents don’t experience the challenges of rearing children?—we are blessed because each one of our daughters turned out to be extraordinarily sensible, loving, kind, compassionate, reliable, productive, hard-working women who we love deeply.

Our daughters, their husbands and our grandsons are our “pride and joy.” I believe that Paul’s and my parents and grandparents thought the same of us even though it wasn’t expressed as often as we would have liked to hear them say it.

Keeping in touch with our extended families is much easier now than in our grandparent’s time.

I also consider friends as extended families.

Paul and I left our Belleville, Ill., home after our marriage at St. Mary Church in Belleville in August of 1958. We lived in Chicago where Paul was working.

When he was transferred to Indianapolis, we had no idea what a blessed change that would be for us. We feel extremely blessed to have moved to Broad Ripple and found Christ the King Parish. It’s good to think back that we often walked to Mass in the winter snow.

Most everyone reading this column surely has similar memories. We need to celebrate our friends and families.

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.)

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