"Kith", though, is less common -- indeed to my knowledge in these modern days is only used as part of the phrase "Kith and kin".
It comes from the Old English word "cunnan" which meant "to know", and means -- formally -- those people whom are your close friends.
Informally, a wiser gentleman than myself described it thusly:
"Kin are the family God gives you. Kith are the family you choose."
Phlegmmy and I met the matriarch of the Farm Family at the first Blogorado, when she was kind enough to welcome a horde of bloggers into her home; as she did at each subsequent get-together.
I will always remember the twinkle in her eye and her merry cackle at a good story.
This morning, we woke up to terrible news: she had lost her fight against cancer.
I wish that I had words to console her kith and kin; but I don't. Instead, I shall fall back on Mary Elizabeth Frye to convey that which I wish I could:
- "Do not stand at my grave and weep,
- I am not there; I do not sleep.
- I am a thousand winds that blow,
- I am the diamond glints on snow,
- I am the sun on ripened grain,
- I am the gentle autumn rain.
- When you awaken in the morning’s hush
- I am the swift uplifting rush
- Of quiet birds in circling flight.
- I am the soft starlight at night.
- Do not stand at my grave and cry,
- I am not there; I did not die."
Farm Family, I hope that the pleasant memories that you share of Mamaw comfort you now, and that they provide some small measure of peace in the days ahead.