Regeneration and Renewal

926_10151138130853722_128457648_n (1)In Argentina, the “Asados Domingueros en Familia” (Sunday Family Barbecues)  is a classic. Most families around the country unite one or two Sundays a month to share an abundant lunch and keep up to date with each family member’s life (for those in USA it is like celebrating Thanksgiving Day once a month!). Sometimes guests are invited to the sacred meetings, and, as expected, they are treated as a transient member of the family. Nonetheless, after Sofia joined us on our Sunday table for several Sundays for more than three years, rather than being temporarily part of my family, she gradually, and unconsciously, became another “Bidart”.

On October 13th, the commemoration of my birthday, has always been a date associated with bliss within my family in which I, inexorably, became a center of utter attention; nevertheless, the focus was radically different in 2012. On the very day of my birthday, Pablo (my older brother) and Sofia joyfully contracted marriage. The following Sunday, Sofia, who once had assisted to our family meetings as one of my brother’s friends, was now my sister-in-law. That day I learned that, as there is nothing more human than solidarity, that there is no greater expression of solidarity than opening the doors of your family to someone new; and, given the fact that I also became part of Sofia’s family,  I can assure you that there is no happiness greater than being annexed to someone else’s family.

These phenomenon exceeded the theoretical sphere, that is to say, Sofia did not just become legally attached to me, she, and her family, actually embraced me and have helped me in several occasions since then. I now acknowledge that not only Pablo trusts Sophia, but also Sophia’s relatives trust Pablo’s relatives and vice versa. That is the meaning of a true love bond.

WYA’s Declaration on the Family (Brussels, Belgium 2004) describes “family as the school of deeper humanity; where each member learns best what it means to be a human person”. Though I still have a lot to learn, I can say that this anecdote, which may seem trivial to some readers, has had a huge importance in my process of maturing and has made me aware of the important role both family and love play towards the nourishment of the human person.

I am sure that in the near future Pablo and Sofia will continue expanding our family with a child of their own. My mind holds a vivid scene in which the recently married couple reveals me that I will be an uncle; the scene occurs in the Sunday table in which the family has always met, the same Sunday table that has assisted to the regeneration and renewal of the “Bidart” family for decades, and hopefully, will continue to do so.

 By Alan Bidart, a WYA member from Argentina.