My late husband Jim and I shared mutual views on most everything when it came to our family life and how we chose to raise our three children; Morgan (16), Gregory (13) and Nathan (10). We agreed on the top priorities for our family, the values we wanted to instill in our children, and the things we did together, big or small, that made OUR family unique.
When my husband passed away almost three years ago, change became the only constant in our lives. As we picked up the pieces and created our new normal, I was determined to make sure the fundamentals that were the foundation of our family would remain in place. Through our journey of change, we have maintained three non-negotiable practices.
The family that PRAYS together, stays together
Jim and I always made our faith a priority and chose to make the necessary sacrifices to send our children to Catholic school. Faith based education was always very important to us. When my husband was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer, our faith and those around us is what got us through that difficult time; and that faith continues to guide us on our journey today.
Attending weekly mass together and participating in various activities in our schools and parish is important to us and continues to strengthen our faith. This past September, my family made the pilgrimage to Philadelphia with the Toledo Diocese for the Festival of Families and Pope Francis’ visit to the States. Sharing such an incredible experience as a family left an indelible mark on us all.
The family that EATS together, stays together
Managing activities and various commitments for all four of us can make dinner time a challenge on most evenings. However, eating together, unless absolutely impossible is a priority for our family. It requires a bit of extra planning on my part. We may eat at 5pm, 8pm, or somewhere in between depending on the evening. But whenever it is, we will be eating together.
With three children going different directions and the oldest now in high school, our time together during the week is extremely limited. Putting aside time for a meal allows us face time to share our day and keep us connected. That time every day, no matter how brief, makes a big difference.
The family that PLAYS together, stays together
In our family, it’s not just about everyone attending events for the oldest child. It’s about all siblings supporting one another, even if we’ve all “been there done that” by the time we get to the third child. Schedules and commitments don’t allow my children to see every game or event, obviously. But when possible they attend each other’s games, musicals, special school events, family nights at camp, recitals, etc.
They may not always show it, but my children are glad to have their siblings’ support at their activities. It’s not about what everyone has going on for themselves, but rather what all of us in this crazy thing called life have together, and being there for one another.
The Zickes Family’s FAVORITE THINGS
Favorite Park: Oak Openings
Favorite Restaurant: We have many, but being pizza aficionados, we love Pizza Papalis
My Kids’ Favorite Activity: Ultimate Frisbee… they are never without a disc
Favorite Way to Relax as a Family: Picnics and hikes, watching movies chillin’ at home
Favorite Holiday: Christmas and Thanksgiving… it’s a tie
Favorite View in Toledo: Overlooking 5/3 Field… what an awesome ballpark right in our downtown