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Once I Had Them With Me

By: John Dacey on January 19th, 2023

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Once I Had Them With Me

Celebrating family life

Around here, so far, it has been a comparatively mild winter. While many regions have had significant snows, we have been spared. There are weeks of winter to go. 

Years ago, when our children were in grade school during the wintertime, sometimes there would be a mid-morning burst of storminess. Snow would move in, and adjusted weather forecasts would call for more of the same throughout the day. It was rare, but when conditions were predicted to get more challenging, schools would dismiss early.

fun-sights-on-the-roadtrip.jpg_s=1024x1024&w=is&k=20&c=C4aam8WfO4yPsQBJtCuZsdezTb8U-zMyRMZKnbj070Y=One such time, I was teaching at the other end of the city from our children’s school. When I could leave, and after clearing the car of snow and frost, I drove to the kids’ school to pick them up. Given the weather, it took a while to maneuver the hills and traffic. I got there eventually and retrieved the little ones from their classrooms. Then began the journey home. I was relieved once I had them with me. They knew I would come for them. I don’t know what we chatted about in the car – probably the weather. 

Sometimes the simple things we do for each other, the daily ways we care about one another, are more eloquent than words. 

Even with the intensity of the snowy drive, there was something quite delightful about getting out of school early – a holiday feeling. We had only about two or three extra hours of free time, yet it seemed like a much bigger gift – worthy of a smile. 

Once home, mom prepared the celebrative snowy afternoon snack. It is interesting how life’s smallest celebrations become cherished times. 

I think the thousands of ways we are together as family help form what we value and how we want to be. Family is where we learn how to heal and forgive, to listen and learn, to console and guide – to be present to each other. In these ways, we offer silent examples that spring from loving attitudes. I believe these examples give witness to our accepting and believing the Gospel that Jesus proclaimed and how by His Spirit, He still teaches us – every day. 

“… because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (Romans 3:5) 

In our family prayer, let us pray for a spirit of accompaniment – to enjoy being each other’s companions – cultivating loving ways of being together.

About John Dacey

John Dacey is a retired Catholic high school teacher. He has taught Scripture, Ethics, and Social Justice. He enjoys being in the company of family, reading in the field of spirituality, and gardening. John and his wife have been married for more than 40 years and have two children and four grandchildren.