Family is home.
A family doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be just about bloodline.
There’s this saying I go by: “When you’ve been friends with someone for 7+ years, they’re no longer just a friend, they’re family.” I’ve also read that there are people who you can know for less than a year, but it’s like you’ve been friends with them for a decade.
I grew up with just my mom and dad, but I was also blessed with close-knit relatives and friends who are like siblings. I remembered wanting an older brother but knew it was impossible to have one, at least genetically. I’ve wanted an older brother because of all the movies and stories I read about them being able to protect their younger siblings and having to do fun activities with them.
And, when I was little, I essentially had this older brother of mine, the son of a couple who was good friends with my parents. I remember riding along on his bike by sitting in the space between the handles and the seat. He eventually taught me how to ride a two-wheeled bike, and I was so excited about it that I asked my parents to get me one of my own so we can go riding together. And we did just that. I remember how he also taught me to play solitaire on the computer as well as the classic chess. He was an amazing older brother who I greatly looked up to. Then there was his younger sister, who was still older than I was. I remember walking together after school to their place because we went to the same elementary school. She taught me all about boy bands and crushes and being a girly-girl. Both of them were the first older siblings I’ve ever had, and I will always cherish the experiences we had together.
I value my family infinitely. I want to be able to give them the world and all the blessings they deserve. And I know it’s challenging for a single individual to accomplish, but it’s still possible. My family has given me so much more than I’ve ever asked for in life, whether they are lessons or blessings I won’t be able to receive from anyone else.
We’ve had our challenging moments. There have been disagreements, arguments, painful words, but that’s… normal. I’m glad we don’t always see eye-to-eye. I’m glad for loving the color blue while someone else loves the color pink. I’m glad that I’m constantly learning and seeing things through their eyes. I’m glad that there are adventurous as well as cautious members of my family. If we liked all the same things and constantly agree with each other, there’s no room for growth, knowledge, and experience.
And yet, even though we all have these differing thoughts, opinions, and personalities, our values in life are similar, which is what always brings us together in the end.
I have not been with my blood family for about two years now. Last time I saw my parents was in the summer of 2018. To some, two years is short, but to me, it feels like a lifetime, and I miss them dearly.
I’m grateful that technology has allowed me to communicate with them daily, and keep in contact with my close friends everywhere around the world. It’s not the same as physically being with them, but it’s still something.
The next time you visit family, if you’re not living with them now and when it is safe to do so, cherish every moment you spend together. Put your phone down, and be absolutely present with them. Show them how much you love and appreciate them.
I understand that everyone’s familial situation is different, and although I won’t experience every kind of scenario, I hope you won’t lose your light.
The world around you starts from the world you’ve created within you. And if the world within you is suffering, you might not be able to see and experience the blessings you’re meant to receive.
Family is home, and sometimes home is occupied by individuals whose lights encompass the world.