We all have family, but what is family really. Is it only by blood or can family be people who we have no blood ties to but yet love as our own? Family is such a big word that comes with so many meanings. It can be the strongest bond and glue of your life and it can be the most frail entity in your life.
Family, according to the dictionary is defined by one man and one woman and a child. At this point I want to point out, yes it’s a family but by far not my only definition of family. I have a fairly big family and when I was younger we would all meet once a year for a family bbq. Everyone would attend and bring a dish, it would be at a campground in the woods in Germany, from morning till night with a bonfire, singing, dancing, good food and FUN. I have very fond memories of those times. As we got older, of course it kind of disappeared. Now we are all over the place, people moved, people died (sadly), people got married (myself included, I obviously left the country). So now I have my immediate family. My grandparents (whom I love so very much) my parents ( who of course I love too) my middle sister and my youngest sister. All three of us are married and I have 3 children, my middle sister 1 and my youngest has a family of geckos and lizards. If you think about it that makes for a pretty big family us, not counting our husbands families. I guess it isn’t the norm anymore to have big families. Topic for another time though.
Even though I am not anywhere NEAR my family, we are still close. We talk at least once a week on the phone, listen to each others problems, give advice or just enjoy each others company over the phone. Then I have my family here, my husband and children. While extremely stressful at times I love them with everything I got. I was blessed with 2 super smart and super cute girls from a previous marriage and a son through my husband. Makes us a blended family. But families who adopt are considered just a family. Silly distinction in my book. Family is family. Even a parent and a child is family. It is about love, respect, understanding, nurturing, support and sometimes teaching rules and being hard but fair.
The things I just listed can be found not just with family, but with friends or like minded people. Sometimes what society considers family by its definition, is a toxic environment filled with hate, spite, manipulation, abuse on the physical and emotional level. Not the safe place it should be. So then we go and find our own family after we either reject ourselves from these toxic families or are rejected because we are too different for their standards. We build new relationships and sometimes friends can be closer to us and more like family than our birth/blood relatives.
We are driven by a desire to have a family. To have someone that needs us as much as we need them. We like to think we are fine on our own, but we all do in truth need love, hope, passion, someone that is there for us. In today’s society we work so so much, have so many obligations family comes short. We create relationships outside the family. Work spouses and work families. I am not a big fan of work spouses. I believe the title alone implies a connection and intimacy that should be left at home. However, having a work family, a place that is pleasant and supportive who may or may not interact outside of work is fine in my book. A work family will accept each others families at home and respect that.
Then there is the family of friends. People who like us have common interests and we get a long with great. Sometimes friends are closer to us than our families we grew up with and in my book that’s ok. Blood is not always thicker than water and if friends are more a family than parents and siblings then so be it. We need love and attention in our lives, we need to be understood and valued for who we are.
Everyone deserves to have a family. We need and thrive on that bond that connects us to people and lets us know that we are not alone, that we are wanted, needed, trusted and loved. Family in my opinion can be as little as two people and has no limit upwards.
Thanks to social media, we can now connect to our families world wide and share our hopes and dreams with them day and night at the click of a button and I am glad we can. If nothing else, this makes social media worth while in my book btw. We find and connect family we didn’t know we had, we stay in touch with family we otherwise wouldn’t be able to or honestly forget. Speaking of social media, I believe in this day and age we even have an ONLINE FAMILY. People we have never met in person but whom we connect to and are close to and call friends because we have met them and their personality online. I have friends I have never met in person but I do consider myself close to them!
Last but not least, since I could write about this all day long, pictures. I value pictures of my family. The first picture is my family in Germany minus my mother who took the pic. It is so so very important to have pictures of your family. Moments captivated forever. Life moves so fast, children grow up so quickly it feels like yesterday when you held them in your arms. Take pictures, have a professional take them for you it is worth the money and time. You will regret missing out on creating a story of your life in pictures! Take my advice, there are not many pictures of me and my children together, let alone of me and my husband. If fate would ever choose my time was up, they wouldn’t have much to remember me by. So I will take my own advice and have more pictures taken.
Tell me, how do you see family? Do you agree? Share pictures and stories with me I love reading about others experiences and thoughts.
Don’t forget to read my other posts and let me know if there is a topic you would like me to write about!
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