The Family Reunion

Comedy & drama
Added: Friday, 3 October 2008

watch original V-Blog in Persian

watch original V-Blog in German

I just spent a few days with my family and extended family, celebrating the wedding of my sister-in-law to a guy, we all agree, is just the perfect match. It was an amazing few days, and I tried very hard to live in the moment and not think of what lay beyond this family reunion with all its excitement, drama and fun.

It's funny with family. You've got uncles, aunts, cousins, friends and everyone is related and some of us even share one culture (mostly Persians living in the West), and yet, each branch of the family, even individual members, have their very own distinct 'culture'. With that I mean a way of doing things; habits, expectations, traditions. So with family arriving from every continent of the world, it was no surprise that from time to time you'd have the occasional misunderstanding, the tension, the "I can't believe him or her". We're all so very different. There are those who served and toiled and those who got served and enjoyed, those who gave and those who received – but all of us did a little bit of all those things at some point or another.

And no matter how different we were, across family cultures, or across geographic cultures, in the end, it wasn't about keeping score of who paid what or who slept in a bed or on the floor. In the end, when it was time to say goodbye, it started hitting us that we were probably not going to see each other for a very long time to come. And that's when the tears began to flow and all of us wished we had been even less selfish and even more selfless. We wished we'd taken more time to listen to granny's stories and complaints, more time to help in the kitchen, more time to say sorry. Because time is so precious and the love we have to give is the only thing we get to keep once the house is empty and everyone's gone.

So if my family is any indication or microcosm of how the world functions, then in the end it doesn't really matter if your neighbor has a fancier car, a bigger house, or a pool he can't possibly handle on his own. It doesn't matter that someone pushed ahead of you in line today, or got the job you wanted or took the best watermelon in the grocery store. In the end, life is too short and precious to keep score of those things – and when the end nears, we wish we'd taken less and given more.

My Persian sister-in-law married a Columbian-American and the two of them have already begun their own family and their own unique culture. Their union is bringing together even more people as our family expands. Weddings remind us of what is most important: love. And I can't but marvel at their wedding vow, one that I have heard so often; the vow that is not a proud promise to the other half, but a humble admission to our Creator, namely that "we will all verily, abide by the will of God" – whatever His will shall be!

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