personal

The Importance of Family

Family is important, some will agree with that and some won’t; likely based on your experiences in life and maybe it even changes based on present and past circumstances.

 

I have had some mixed experiences with the concept. I was the youngest of two sons, but the spread in age between me and my brother – 8 years – qualifies me as an “only child” in some psychological viewpoints, and I tend to be introverted as a result. So I sometimes have believed family is not that important; frankly, I have had times where I didn’t think friends were that important either; and in work I used to hoard work myself figuring “I could do it better” so I didn’t think co-workers were that important either.

Being in a small family definitely changes the perspective. I recall when my dad, who had two sisters and two brothers, was more close and engaged with his family (when I was in grade school) that I appreciated the trips to see the extended family. Weddings, anniversaries, birthdays – all celebratory occasions, getting to see cousins and catch up and play. Then my dad sort of grew apart from his siblings and I figured, maybe family isn’t that important. My mom was essentially estranged from her brother but very close to her parents, and that’s really all she had – so I wasn’t sure what to make of that.

Most of my friends growing up had what I call “average” families. Loving for sure, most had undivorced parents, no real drama. But being in Vegas we also had our share of parents working odd hours, and latchkey situations.

People I have been in relationships with – most of them had weird family situations, with one parent being absent and some sort of lost connections to siblings or parents. My wife has a large cultural family that will do anything to hold on to those bonds. They live close to each other, those that don’t visit often, etc.

Over the last few years, I have gone through personal trauma and it has helped me realize how important my family (and friends, and co-workers) are to me. I was lucky in that my good friends stuck by me and lifted me up even though I didn’t appreciate them fully enough in the years before. My family did miracles for me without even knowing it, and then has fully embraced my wife and her family. My wife’s family has inspired me to appreciate the seemingly endless get togethers an extended family has, sort of like when I was young.

So now I am really in the spirit of family, and hope to maximize the time I get to be with them and enjoy the unconditional love and support and give it right back and then some.

 

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