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What’s Better than Family

By:  Donna Martin

Today we celebrated the life of my Aunt Nella.  She was the next to youngest of 5 children born 82 years ago.  She was raised by my grandmother who was a single mother due to the death of my grandfather when Nella was only a toddler.  It was a bitter sweet day.  It was sad because we will miss her, but joyful because she is now in heaven with my mother, my grandmother, and her brother, my uncle.   As is the case with most funerals, it was the first time in a long time that we had visited with our cousins and other relatives.  After the funeral as we gathered for lunch, we had a good time recalling childhood memories of experiences we had shared as children.  We laughed, teased, hugged and posed for a “cousin” picture.  Each of us cousins has lost a parent, and sad, but true this loss can sometimes weaken the link in family ties especially the link to extended family.  It is not that we love each other less, it just becomes more difficult to get together and stay in touch as our children grow up and marry and have their own children.  Everyone is busy with their own individual families, careers, activities, and life in general.  And so it goes that death is what actually causes us to pause, and for a few hours, unite again.

Fortunately, not only are we part of the Hawkins/Prestage heritage, but we are part of a greater family, the family of God.  That is what helps us find peace and joy even when death invades our lives and snatches a family member from our presence here on earth.  We have the comfort of knowing that suffering is over for our loved one; that they are having a party with our heavenly Father; and that when the time comes for us to pass through the shadow of death, we will join them in eternity where there will be no more sickness, sorrow, or pain.

Of course as we left, we vowed that we should get together again and not wait until the next funeral.  Hopefully we will.  We will certainly keep connected on Facebook.  But it is for certain that because of the amazing grace of our savior, Jesus Christ, those of us who have trusted Him as our savior will be together eternally  to worship, laugh, hug, and enjoy the rewards of heaven in the presence of our Heavenly Father.

Is your family part of the family of God?  Would you be able to find peace and joy if someone in your family walked through the shadow of death into eternity?  You have two places to choose from when it comes to eternity.  One is heaven a place where there is no more suffering and no more pain, or hell a place of eternal suffering.  Which one will you choose?  If you are not sure where you will spend eternity you can be certain.  To find out how to spend eternity in heaven go to  In the box on the right of the home page entitled “Important Information”, click on “Read This First”.

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” Marriage Enrichment Events for churches and organizations.  To schedule an event call Michael at 940-735-1515. They are certified “Prepare/Enrich” Facilitators and are available to work with couples on an individual basis using the “Prepare/Enrich Assessment.”  They publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at



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