Family. They are the one’s to turn to when everything is going wrong. They are there to celebrate life’s achievements, big and small. They are your only source of honesty if you get a bad haircut or just need to hear the unbridled truth about a current situation. All in all, they are there for you…sometimes even if you don’t want them to be!
My dad’s half of the family all live in Virginia. As a matter of fact, they all reside approximately ten minutes driving distance from each other. Living that close to everyone was convenient if anything was needed, no matter what the favor. If you found yourself stuck under the car with the wrong size wrench, pick up the phone and call Grandpa, he’ll bring it by in less than fifteen minutes and crawl under there to help out. Girl Scouts could have never been the same experience if my Aunt had not jumped at the opportunity to be the leader of the troop which my cousin and I belonged. Most likely I would have never been involved in the first place with so many extracurricular activities if it hadn’t been for my family. When my youth basketball team needed an assistant coach my Uncle was fast to volunteer. Possibly it was to spend time with my father, the coach, who signed up year after year to whip us girls into shape with suicide drills every practice and lay-ups until our arms went numb. I know it was simply because of one thing…family.
As I was growing up I loathed the fact that my family was so close. I could not hide anything! Grandma knew if I was grounded, as did everyone else. If her grass needed cut, my brother or I one was sent over immediately to keep her yard looking as good, if not better, than the neighbors. I could never get out of Sunday morning church with my Aunt, she knew if I was really sick or not because she had seen me riding my bike the night before. Everyone knew everyone else’s business and for some reason, no one but the kids seemed to mind.
Now that I am older in the process of growing up, I am slowly realizing why our family was so tight-knit. Without them I would have failed a long time ago. In the world today where divorce and single parent households are as prevalent as McDonalds for dinner on a regular basis, I am thankful that those who played a part in raising me believed in family. In the past I felt the hot air of everyone was breathing down my neck and swore I would retreat as far away as possible. After two short years away from my family I found myself looking over my shoulder wishing someone was there to care too much. Family drew me back like a magnet looking for its other pole. I am thankful for every one of them. They have shown me to be happy and prosper, one must believe in the strength and love of a family.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.