Last summer was difficult in many ways, with the pandemic and a nation divided. Closer to home, the issue was a major health crisis with my parents; one had the health issue, and the other had to helplessly watch their spouse decline, then fight back. It was a challenging, life-changing time, especially for Mom and Dad. Thankfully, they’re both doing pretty well today, although things changed permanently for them.

A few of my cousins at a recent reunion (nope, this isn’t all of us!).

During the midst of this crisis, my cousins were dealing with the passing of their father, my dad’s brother, my uncle. His passing wasn’t completely unexpected, but I’m not sure that made it any easier.

The pandemic made my uncle’s funeral service smaller than what we normally would’ve done. And my parents most assuredly would’ve been among the few that would have attended. My husband and I were with my parents during this time, and I didn’t feel like I could leave them then either. It was a grim time all the way around, to say the least.

I’m part of a very large family, that thankfully, is a pretty tight bunch. Every other year, we have a “cousin reunion” that is filled with more laughter and love than we deserve. So, for all of us to be separated and not able to be together in person was heartbreaking.

However, when I was speaking to my cousin as he was making funeral arrangements with his siblings, we spoke about how difficult it was to be apart while we each were dealing with our individual trials. He then said something that has stayed with me all these months later. He said that we’re all linking arms and getting through this together. The visual image of my cousins all linking arms was an amazing one, and has resonated with me ever since. We couldn’t all be together when we wanted to be, but we could symbolically hold each other up.

I’m personally not always good at reaching out to others, but when I think about “linking arms,” it makes it easier to ask for help when needed.

How about you? Have you linked arms with someone recently, or is there someone you can reach out to and support?

We need to remember that we’re stronger together.

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  1. Barbara Arnold

    That was beautiful cuz. Thanks for your encouraging thoughts always. I hope we can have a cousins reunion again soon since I have had to miss the last couple.
    Love you 😍

    • Rebecca Yauger

      Jeanne — thank you so much for stopping by!! I think you and I are similar. I have a hard time reaching out when I should. And most friends are happy to help when we ask. This is why the comment from my cousin about linking arms just resonated with me so much! Take care!!

  2. Jeanne Takenaka

    Becky, what a blessing to be part of such a large, tight-knit family. I’m so sorry there’s been so much hardship among your clan. BUt you’re right, there’s strength found in linking arms–either literally, in prayer, or in other ways we find to connect. I find it too easy to isolate into my own small life and forget to look to my bigger circle to see how I can come alongside and link arms. Thanks for the reminder of how important this is.

    Sending you hugs, friend.

  3. Rebecca Yauger

    Thanks for reading, Barb. I am so looking forward to the time where we can all be together again. I miss all those hugs!! Love you!


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