Nov 29 2016

A Motto That Hangs on Our Wall

by Brenda Bishop, Administrative Assistant

A motto that hangs on our walls at Delaware Valley Family Business Center reads, “Our family is a circle of strength and love.  With every birth and every union, the circle grows.  Every joy adds more love.  Every crisis faced together makes the circle stronger.”

I experience this truth first-hand. One of my warmest memories of my dating years with my husband, Michael, was the introduction to his mother’s family from Ridgeley, WV, the Dayton’s. By nature and nurture, the Dayton’s embrace each person they meet in life’s journey with love, showing genuine hospitality to family and friends, and to those experiencing difficult times financially or emotionally.

Every five years, we, the extended Dayton family members, anticipate the Dayton Family Reunion – held on the sprawling family farm, tucked in among the WV mountains, just off of Dirty Food Road.  Preparation for such a large gathering over 3 days is mind-boggling. Yet, rooms were provided and food preparation in constant motion.  Hospitality was the name of the game and everyone was invited to participate, making peeling 75 lbs. of boiled potatoes a sport of great fun. We came to the farm, time and again, with our new family circles to reclaim a piece of this homespun legacy. Together is better to celebrate new life; together is better to hold hands, embrace and face every crisis.  Together makes the circle stronger.

I am grateful to be grafted into this Dayton family and have learned:

  • The Dayton model of hospitality is inspiring. It may be costly, but life-long ties that are made are well worth the effort and reward beyond imagination.
  • Love characterized by patience, kindness, hope and peeling potatoes is earth-moving; the kind of love that never fails. It truly sustains when the hurdles of loss and grief come to our door or fills a heart with joy as we celebrate successes.
  • Family is a gift. We will take time to remember and be grateful for the legacy we have been given.
  • Let’s open our hearts and our homes to others who need a little help along the way. In the words of Fred Rogers, “making the world a better place is everyone’s responsibility.”

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