Redefining Family

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After a restful week at the beach, I can think of quite a few topics for this week’s very late blog. Yet the one that keeps coming to mind is family.

Extended family, immediate family, work family.

Anyone can qualify as family because, in my mind, the uniting factor is dependability. I can’t think of a stronger depiction of love than knowing without a doubt that these people will be there for you, and you will do everything in your power to be there for them.

While I cherish all of my family, today’s blog is for those closest to me.

20140726-105619-39379964.jpgFrom hospital visits to beach trips…

From pharmacy treks to coffee dates…

From crunch-time hors d’oeuvres to lengthy family dinners…

From tears to laughter…

From terse words to enveloping hugs…

From devastation to elation…

We depend on one another.

And yet, I don’t know that I’ve ever met a group of more independent people. You see, we’re the ones who want to take our luggage down six floors rather than wait for the bellman. We’re the ones who decline a ride to our car, even though we’re parked a mile away.

Yes, we’re stubborn and difficult and intense.

Our expectations are high and our hopes are higher.

We’re silly and proud and flawed.

We’re perfectionists…enough said.

Which makes it even more important that we stick together.

20140726-104827-38907636.jpgI realized this today as two very special people saw me floundering and, without a word of protest, jumped into the mayhem to help me get my hors d’oeuvres completed on time.

You know you’re loved when a vegetarian begins arranging salami for you—and doesn’t even make a face.

It is all too often that families function out of a sense of obligation, as though they are forced to help or listen. But I don’t see that with my family, and I don’t feel it. Instead, there’s only the desire to make their lives easier, to do whatever is necessary to provide relief or support. Today, as so many times before, I saw that in their calm assistance and willingness to rearrange their schedules to fit mine.

I’m lucky. Not all families are so inclined.

Instead, family is frequently seen as a burden. Too often, there is no sense of balance, and individuals are expected to go above and beyond out of a sense of duty. While this is a reassuring concept, to know that you always have that safety net, I much prefer the gentle give and take of a family made up of members who all want the best for one another.

Sure, we’re a mess. But maybe that’s why we balance one another so well…we’ve had lots of practice.

For this reason and so many more, I’m incredibly grateful for a family who embodies dependability.

With love,

Emma

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One thought on “Redefining Family

  1. Heather says:

    Beautiful.

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