the edge of an arch



(Portal of the Colditz Castle Chape arch and keystone. Own Photography.  Used with permission)

A “keystone” is a wedge-shaped stone piece at an apex of an arch.  The keystone is the final piece placed in the arch during construction.

The keystone locks all the stones into position, allowing the arch to bear weight.

If the keystone is pulled out of the arch, the arch collapses.  The arch stones fall into a scattered pile.

In just about all families, one person serves as a family keystone.  He/she is the person who everyone else relies on.  The go-to person.  The person who bears weight of the arch including all the other family members.

A family keystone may be a father, mother, brother, sister, cousin, an in-law or even a close friend.

If the keystone person of a family arch passes away, many times the family arch structure collapses.

In some instances another person becomes the family keystone and a new family arch reforms.

In other instances no one becomes the new family keystone and the family arch never reforms. Family members remain forever separated and scattered.

In my family, my cousin Joan was our family keystone for my mother’s side of the family.

She planned all family parties.  She kept everybody in touch in the days before social media. She regularly sent out new school and activity pictures of her two kids.  She even wrote and sent out a family newsletter.

When she passed away from breast cancer at age 40, our family arch on that side of my family collapsed and never reformed.

I was recently thinking about my cousin Joan, because her birthday was in February.  She was more of a sister to me than a cousin.  She kept me honest and authentic.  I truly appreciated her.

She left us way too early.  I miss her a lot.

Who is the keystone in your family?

Are you showing the proper gratitude and support to the keystone of your family?

Take a moment to contact the keystone of your family.

Let them know how much you love and appreciate them and how important they are to you and your family.

You just never know when that keystone may fall out of your family arch leaving a scattered pile of family members.

Out There on the Edge of Everything…

Stephen Lesavich, PhD