Family . . . don’t we just love them? Well, most of the time, even if there are some times when they flat-out drive us crazy! That’s normal, because we are so close to them they know what buttons to push and when to push them. I don’t want to focus on what they do to drive us crazy but instead on why we love them so much.
Family . . . they know our history. Good or bad, they know all about us: when we were born, where we were born, our parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents and all the other details of our life. The schools, neighborhoods, sports we played, clubs we belonged to and, seemingly, everything else about us.
Family . . . they know our religious background, education level and political views. They know if we’re conservative, liberal or moderate and why.
Family . . . they know if we’ve been married and how many times, who we hang out with and many of the other choices we’ve made throughout our lives.
Family . . . they know what career paths we’ve chosen and how long we’ve been at each. The reasons we changed course and why. Basically, our family knows more about us collectively than anyone else, and they really care about us!
Recently, I went to a family reunion and visited with family I hadn’t seen for over ten years. The oldest was my uncle, who is eighty-eight, and the youngest was a third cousin, four months old. It was great to see them and catch up on what’s happened in their lives the last decade. I’m ashamed to say that for one of my cousins, who traveled in from Colorado, I didn’t even know the names of his children or that he had become a grandpa. Everyone shared pictures and events, reminiscing for hours and laughing to the point of tears. The day flew by in what seemed minutes, not hours, and after hugs and kisses we promised we would do better at staying in touch the next decade than the previous one, parted and went our separate ways. It was an awesome day, one I won’t forget for a long time.
Family . . . don’t take them for granted, because we all age and someday they’ll all be gone. You can pick your friends, careers and many other things in life, but you can’t pick your family, and that’s a good thing!
Don’t procrastinate till it’s too late to pick up the phone and call that uncle or aunt, brother or sister, mom or dad, or even that cousin. Remind them how much you care, and don’t wait for an event to stir you to show your love. All families have issues, special circumstances and conflicts, but “We are family”: we forgive, forget and have unconditional love!
Family . . . it’s your family; make it the best family!