This I Believe

Christen - Harrod, Ohio
Entered on December 10, 2006

I believe in the importance of family. For me, the term family used to consist of my immediate family; the family that I was closest to. This did not include those who were kind to me or those who knew more about me than most of my relatives. In the past year however, I have had to broaden my scope of what I believe constitutes a family, because I know now there is so much more to a family than blood relations.

I believe that a family is first and foremost those who invest time into your life. This could be asking you questions about your day, a hug when they feel it’s necessary, or receiving a gift from that person, because they were thinking of you at the time.

My family has always been in abundance as I have nine younger brothers and sisters, many sets of grandparents, and two loving parents. But the number of our family changed when my mother passed away unexpectedly last June while in surgery to clear out an infection after removing a tumor from her neck.

I believe that a family is those who try to feel what you’re feeling. The day that she passed away was like a reunion for our entire church. The whole congregation spent the day at our house. There were very few words spoken, but their presence made the grief seem less of a burden as it was spread among all of us.

I believe that a family is selfless, and will sacrifice their time for you. I lived with a friend from my church for nearly a year after my mother passed, and while my family’s house was being reconstructed. Her family treated me like I was one of their own; she let me celebrate Christmas with her, helped me plan my graduation party, and even helped me pack when I prepared to leave for college.

I believe that a family is accepting. My father announced to my siblings and I that he would be seeing someone only five months after my mother passed away. She was an amazing person, but I felt that she was replacing the only mother I had ever known. This past July, they were married, and I accumulated a stepmother as well as two step-sisters, totaling eleven siblings. I realized at the wedding that my new mother was not a replacement, but an addition to our family; a family that God had chosen to expand and bless. I gave her a hug when the ceremony had ended and whispered “Welcome to the family.”

I believe that a family is your brothers and sisters in Christ whom are placed in your life with a common link; our Father in heaven. I believe that a family is the solid friendships that you make with people throughout your life. I believe that a family isn’t necessarily a blood relation, but the time spent in another person’s life.