The Importance of Family

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it’s a time I get to spend with family. I don’t know about you but my family is important to me. I love being able to spend time with them and grow closer to them.

Holiday season to me is always a time of being together with family, and I love it. But do you know what? My family isn’t entirely “family”. We’re not all blood, and we’ve not all had the best relationship at the time. But we learn and grow together, and I’m so grateful for that.

On Thanksgiving Day itself, I spent time with both sides of my family. With my mom’s side, pretty much all of us are related by blood. We haven’t always been the closest, but we know how to rely on each other in the good and bad times. Although most of the people on that side are older, I know how to have a good time with them.

My dad’s side is a completely different story. I’d say about half of us are related by blood. But we’re all family. The other half are just close family friends that we consider family. It’s gotten to the point where my immediate family considers the kid (teenager realistically) of my aunt and uncle’s neighbor to be a fourth child of my aunt and uncle. This side of the family is a lot younger, and we have an excellent time together.

One of the cool things about my family in general is that we’re pretty accepting and open people. We don’t care who you are. You walk through the door of whatever house we’re gathered at, and you’re pretty much family. You’ll get fed, and I can promise you’ll have a pretty good time regardless.

I love where my family is now, but we weren’t always this way. A while ago, for whatever reason, we fell out of contact with my dad’s sister (my aunt) and her family. I was too young to be told anything, so don’t ask me what happened. But we actually ran into them by accident about seven or eight years ago, reconnected, and have since spent a lot of time together, including a weekend trip to Cedar Point while I was still in high school.

I give you all this information to come to my point: your family is what you make it. For some, it could be solely people related to them by blood or marriage. For others, there is no blood relation within the group that calls themselves a family. Or for those like me, it could be a mix of related and non-related. Regardless, your family should be important to you. I would not be where I am without my family. I am so grateful to each and every one of them for who they are and what they mean to me.

Your family may not be perfect (I’ll be the first to tell you mine isn’t), but again, your family is what you make it. If you look for imperfections, you’ll find a multitude. But I look for love, and that’s what I find. I look for acceptance, and am met with open arms. I’m loyal and supportive to those I consider family, even if we are not even close to being related. I’m there for them, and they’re there for me. Does my family frustrate me? Yes. Without question. But I love them no matter what, and the good times outweigh the bad. Family isn’t perfect, but what makes it perfect is everyone growing together. I’m so fortunate to have such a wonderful group of people who I call my family, even if they all haven’t always been that way. Love those you call family a little harder this holiday season because they are worth it. I’m not saying you have to love your biological family. I know plenty of people who have all but disconnected from their biological family. But I can almost guarantee that they have families they have built of their friends. Family doesn’t always mean blood, but it almost always means love.

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