I believe that in most families one member of that family is the rock that keeps the family steady and provides the foundation on which the emotional and physical well-being of each member of that family is built.  In other words, there is usually one family member that is the glue that holds that family together.

Often, it is one of the parents only because it is the natural order of things for adults to lead while the others follow.   That is not to say that the other parent is not important to the overall well-being of the family.  It just seems that only one person can become the emotional center of the family around which all else revolves.

I have experienced this dynamic in my own family as a child and have seen it at work in the families of many people I have known over the years.   It is a great loss when that central figure in the family is gone and their absence leaves a large void that is almost always impossible to fill.   In life, they seemed indispensable and in their passing there is a noticeable and dramatic impact on the family.

However, life must go on and in time the influence that person had on their family gradually fades and what once felt like an essential presence becomes only a loving memory.  That loving memory can be manifested in many ways.   There usually are the reminiscences at the holidays, birthdays, and other significant times during the year.  However, with the passage of time and with each new generation even those moments also slowly subside and, eventually, after enough time has gone by that once central figure in the family will be merely a picture on the mantel that is briefly noticed from time to time.  This is the way it must be in order for the family to carry on and adjust to their new reality.

Yet, it seems a little sad to me that no matter how important we may be to our families we are all destined to become just a picture on the mantel.

On Wednesday, Joe describes how perseverance and his children helped shape his law career in “Perseverance”.