Life's Tool Box – A Guide for Parents and Educators

May 22, 2011

Shop-vacs and Family Celebrations

Filed under: Tools for Life Posts — by Life's Toolbox @ 4:01 pm
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In my father’s shop, there was a well-used tool that was never helped build or shape anything, but still held great importance.  The shop-vac, a big canister with its large winding hose was useful to clean up whatever sawdust Dad’s building caused, as well as floods, large household messes and spills in the car.  As our family prepares to celebrate two monumental events, the weddings of two of our sons, oddly enough, this was the tool that came to mind. You might think I focused on a shop-vac to clean up the rivers of tears my husband and I, both emotional types, are likely to shed as we walk our sons down the aisle to their respective beloved brides.   Or to clean the house after the seemingly continuous cycle of guests and pre- and post- wedding parties.  But as we approach these celebrations, it is the ability of the shop-vac to draw everything in that is reminding me what is really important in celebrations.

In a week’s time, we will, with G-d’s help, be surrounded by our families, dancing circles around us, our sons and their brides.  Coming from near and far, on trains, planes, buses and in cars, they have been drawn close for this wondrous event.  All our siblings, three of four grandparents, whichever nieces and nephews are not travelling the globe will not only share the celebration, they will be, in part, the celebration.  Of course, we will dance through the night in honor of the new couple, but what we’ll really be honoring is family, its value and its power to draw and hold us together.

Cell phones, facebook, emails and Skype keep us in touch and in virtual view of the family on a regular basis.  Nothing replaces being in the
same room, dancing in a circle, arm in arm.  Many mothers of grooms and brides to be have shared their sense of loss, feeling as if they say goodbye to the child they raised as they walk them down  the aisle.  I won’t know if I will feel any of that sadness or loss until my time comes, twice in the next few months.  As I write this, we received the sad news of a true loss in the family, a wonderful woman who succumbed to illness, and that puts so much in perspective.   Thinking forward to wedding moments, I feel not loss, but a sense of awe and impending joy.

When my husband and I walk our sons towards their adult lives and the start of their own families, we connect them in new and wondrous ways to an extended family poised ready to welcome them.   When I think of it, the walk down the aisle feels like the link in a chain, a step forward rather than a
loss.  Our family, together for this magical moment is not G-d forbid, getting smaller or losing anything.  We are adding, expanding, growing, and doing it together.  My heart wells with gratitude and joy – to our sons for drawing everyone together – and to our families, for confirming what I have always known.  The pull of family draws and holds us, and our family being together and adding another link, is a spectacular cause for celebration.


1 Comment »

  1. What a wonderful perspective at a time that has the potential to intensify and ‘bring out’ so many different emotions. Thanks for shop-vac….I’ll try to remember it when my time comes. All the best…

    Comment by Audrey Menachem — May 23, 2011 @ 1:27 pm |Reply

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