Friends & Family

Who is your matriarch?

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I love reading.  My favorite author is Jodi Picoult.  I have read most of her novels and haven’t found any that I don’t love.  Her novel, Leaving Time, is a mystery type novel but it focuses on elephants’ behavior with death and grief.

One of the greatest aspects of Jodi Picoult to me is that she researches so much before she writes her book.  The research she put into elephants and their particular behavior is what made me fall in love with elephants in the first place.

Did you know that elephants travel in herds?  A herd is led by a matriarch elephant.  This is usually the oldest and largest elephant in the herd.  She is the leader of the herd.  The one they all look to make decisions and keep the herd together.  When a matriarch dies, the next oldest elephant becomes the matriarch.  This is usually the oldest daughter of the elephant but it doesn’t have to be.

This got me thinking about my mother.  She was the matriarch in our family.  She kept the holidays alive and kept the family together during special times.  Celebrated birthday and that sort of thing.  When my mother died, the first thing I noticed is that without her our family kinda spread out into smaller groups.  Our family gatherings became harder and harder to get all the family to attend.  Although I have tried to keep the holidays a time for family, not everyone just wants to anymore.  Maybe they have their reasons, but I wish that at least once a year, we could all come together and just be a family again.

I have become the matriarch to my kids.  Even my younger sister and her family.  If there is any special occasion at my house, we will all be there together to celebrate.  We are always getting together even if there isn’t a time to celebrate.  Just to be with each other’s company.

I pray that when I die, that my kids will continue to gather together and enjoy each other’s company.  I pray their kids will grow up together and that holidays will be special because they are all together to enjoy them.

Who is your matriarch?  Maybe if you don’t know, then it’s you.  Maybe you need to start being the glue that holds your family together.

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