By Steve Goodier
Salt Lake City, Utah, is a worldwide center for genealogical
research. Even the big department stores sell genealogy supplies.
One newcomer to Salt Lake City, and a non-researcher, got a job
as a clerk at one of those big department stores. She received her introduction
to genealogy one day when a customer came into the store and asked, "Where do I
find the family group sheets?"
The new clerk, with a shocked look on her face, answered,
"Family group sheets? All we carry are the king, queen, double and twin- size
Maybe family sized bedding is taking closeness a bit far! But
having family or close friends is one of the essential needs of all people. We
long for emotional support and intimacy.
Most of us are familiar with studies that have shown that people
suffering from cancer or vascular problems have a higher survival rate when they
enjoy a strong support system of family and friends. People need people.
Moreover, a supportive wider community can also be important.
Not long ago, scores of people gathered on a California beach, lighting candles
and lifting voices in song. Mostly strangers to one another, they came there to
grieve the loss of 88 persons who died when a jetliner crashed into the ocean
off their coast. They were not even family and friends of the victims - simply
concerned residents who cared.
"Your joy, your pain, your loss, your gain - are ours...for you
are one of us." That is the powerful message of family. At its best, even an
Internet family can help fill our need for closeness. Your joy, your pain, your
loss, your gain - can be shared. You belong. And together, we'll celebrate it!
Or, we will get through it.
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