“We Are Family”..

What does this mean to me?

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My youngest child was home for a visit this past weekend and it started me thinking about our family. What was the meaning of the word and what it really meant to me? I truly enjoyed having her home and spending time with her. One of the moments I loved the most was having all my kids in one room, eating dinner, being silly, and laughing hysterically together. Just like we did when they were little kids.

It filled my heart as I was watching them, seeing them as adults and two of them with children of their own, truly enjoying each other and their time together. I was thinking, I must have done something right. I must have done a half decent job at parenting when for the most part I was doing it on my own. Thank goodness for my parents and in-laws help and support during those tough years. I don’t know what I would have done without them.

Sure our lives have not been easy and we have had our share of ups and downs, but it always comes back to this…we are family, no matter what someone has done or said, we forgive and move on. Because that is what families do…or should do. It isn’t always easy to do that. I know this.. and I have had my moments and harsh words were spoken and feelings were hurt but we moved past it and were better for it. We need to remember to choose our words wisely when arguing with a family member. Those words can damage a relationship and can never be taken back. But we can move on and prove our love by our words and actions from that point forward. We have to learn that everyone has opinions. We don’t have to agree with them, we just need to love each other enough to look past the things we don’t agree on.

I look back on the years my kids were growing up and I remember how rewarding yet difficult it was. Parenting is hard work. As parents, we give up so much of ourselves and what we want to be there for our children. And most of the time it feels like they don’t even appreciate what we do or have given up for them. We all have had those days when the kids were little where we wished we would be somewhere else. Anywhere else but there in the house with them. And then they are gone, out of the house and on with their lives barely having a moment to spend with us.

Family, as is life, is one continuous big circle, and “What comes around, goes around.” As a child or teen, we just wish to be out of the house and then in the blink of an eye, our parents are gone and we wish we had just one more moment to spend with them again. We wish for one more of those family vacations we totally hated when we were teenagers. But it’s not to be.

And I know family doesn’t always mean blood. A lot of people I know don’t have family or have lost them all. But I feel the same way about my friends, many of them I consider my family. They are always there when I need them. They don’t put restrictions on our relationship and don’t expect anything from me but love and respect. They allow me my opinions and views and accept me as I am. I honestly don’t know where I would be without them. I can only hope they feel the same.

So hang onto each moment with your “family” and make memories while you can. Enjoy them to the fullest because one day all you will have left are the memories. Make them good ones.

I have one last thought….What if we envisioned everyone we met as family? What a wonderful, different world it would be.

What does family mean to you?