It's funny how a simple word can be defined in so many different ways.
Out of curiosity, I went to Merriam Webster to see how it was defined. The first definition listed said " a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head".
In reality, there are so many definitions of family, each of us has a different one, taught to us by our parents, and grandparents. There are blended families, single parent families, multiracial families, the list goes on.
So what do you consider family? What's your definition?
In all honesty, I can say I hadn't thought about what family really meant to me until recently. And it wasn't until recently that I realized that it doesn't mean the same to everyone. I guess when it came to "family" I am still a child, I still believe that everyone has a family just like mine.
Even more surprising I have realized that even two people, who have shared the same parents and somewhat similar upbringing (one raised in one country, the other in a different one) can have two completely opposite ideas as to what family is, and what roles family plays in your life.
Family to me has always been sacred. These are the people who know me best, and who are the closest to my heart. They include my parents, my sisters, my cousins, my aunts, grandparents. The bonds we share cannot be shattered, they are the ones I go to when things are going great and when things fall apart.
Inside that family core, there is that bond of sisterhood I share with my sisters. These women are my best friends, the ones I can say anything to, and know they will love me in spite of my mistakes. When I needed someone to stand up for me, they have been there. When I needed someone to share my happy moments, they have been there. When things have gotten rough, they are ready to listen, and offer advice. When I am making a mistake, they are the first ones to point it out, even when they know I will get mad.
There is no other relationship like the one I share with them. There are no other people in this world who could understand what we've shared, the struggles we have seen, the triumphs we have achieved. These women, all in their own ways, have helped me become the person that I am.
Even when we allow weeks to go by without a phone call, even when we get wrapped up in our busy lives and we don't talk often enough, I always know they are just a phone call away. I never hesitate to call if I need them because I know they will always be there. They are part of that most intimate part of life I call "private".
Not everyone feels that way about their family, or their siblings. Funny how I'm just now realizing that.
I believe that my children will probably define family and brotherhood based on what we teach them. They will follow our example and our teachings. I just hope they can always feel they are important parts of each other's lives. I hope they always feel comfortable talking to each other, sharing their most intimate thoughts, without fear. I hope they know that when things get rough, they can count on one another. I hope they can be honest with each other in the good times and the bad.
I hope they remember to love each other unconditionally.