Hi! Those of you who follow my blog will know that my mother is Swedish and hails from a huge family there. Although we don’t get to see our extended Swedish family of cousins, aunts and uncles nearly as much as I would like, we remain in close touch and try to get together whenever possible. Last week, we were blessed with a visit from my Uncle Kristofer and Aunt Birgitta.During summers when I was young, my mother, sister and I would often travel to Sweden every few summers to spend time with our cousins. I still remember the special lunches Birgitta would have ready for us after a long flight, including her famous chocolate and cheese cakes. Generous, warm and organized, Birgitta sent a big box of gifts to us across the Atlantic each Christmas. These gifts sat under the tree for weeks before Christmas day as we restrained ourselves from opening them. Her father worked as jeweler and crafted the most lovely necklaces with yellow-gold pendants. One Christmas she gifted one of each of these to my sister Kiki and I. We still have them and are saving them for our girls.
Uncle Kristofer and my mother Fleur have been very close since they were children. I love hearing their stories of bicycling through the Swedish countryside and eating candies with the wrappers on (because they thought they would last longer!). My mother did so much of this that she had to have a stomach operation when she was eight!
In a world where friendships among peers ranks high on most people’s list of priorities, extended family remains so important. Distant family you are blessed to see only occasionally share a common history with you. They recall your roots. In a huge society, they give you a sense of place. We all need that. Plus, studies show that extended family and grandparents play a huge role in the stable emotional development of children.
SO, if you’ve got family far away that you haven’t talked to in a while, give them a call today. Try Skyping with your kiddos so everyone can see each other. Post an old photo on Facebook and tag them. Whatever it takes to keep the connection strong. You’ll be happy you did.Thanks for reading and check back in this week for some more fun content.
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