Generally genetics equal family. But is it so easily defined? There is much about this subject that is mixed, messy and lovely. Our family often strongly influences the person we grow to become. I want to also acknowledge the extended family members here too.
There are many words to be used to express what family means to you. Those that love you for you. Someone that is dependable and gives you security. Where your roots and values began. The memory makers. Blood of your blood. A kinsmanship found after years of searching. Those that walk beside you regardless of the weather. They hold your hand when the rain merely drizzles and when, like on a grey Sunday afternoon in Seattle, it pounds down endlessly.
Many people feel lonely in this big busy world. Are you one of those people? Did it begin with the heartbreaking loss of your favorite someone? Maybe there is a feeling that no one understands you or cares about your life.
Every life is significant.
The scenarios of everyone's family situation varies as much as the tones of red, orange and pink in a waning sunset. I want to touch upon the footstep of someone that may have no blood family left. We will call our example Iris.
Iris was the blessing to young newlyweds eager to adore each other and turn dreams into reality. Iris was a sweet-scented purple flower to their lives, and one may say that all was as it should be for years. One day tragedy took them from this world and Iris wilted. She had no other relatives residing in the country. Always a reserved mannerism, she had no best pal to share a cup of tea watered down with fresh tears. At 22, she could not comprehend that her life was beginning, but instead confined herself within the quiet walls of her parents little home. Time lost meaning as she caressed the edges of the walnut stained nightstand and inwardly swam for a meaning or truth.
But all is not lost for Iris. There is family out there for her even when she hasn't realized it yet. Maybe she will adopt a mixed breed puppy. This may in her mind start out as a companion, but often, we love our pets as deeply as a person. We can look into their eyes and spill any secret and it will remain that. The affection we pour out is rewarded with a wagging tail and that comforting presence at our heels.
There also may come along a person that makes Iris blush and blossom. A rich romance that encompasses her life and takes permanent station at her side. There is such a thing as new family, new hope and new possibilities. You can plant seeds in a new garden of promising dark soil or scatter to the wind on a journey. What matters here is that you can fathom deep in your gut that no matter where you go family can be found. Weed out what is empty and fruitless, and sow with goodness and gentleness to reap such in return.
Have you ever met a person that threw away happiness with both hands? That may have been you at one point even. We sabotage and believe our value is too low, the circumstances are too hard, the stars are not perfectly aligned enough and so we give up. Perhaps we should not quit on love and family so easily. Sometimes loneliness is a sudden stranger that knocks when a terrible event has taken something monumental from us. Go to that person that needs you in this time and fiercely fight to convince them they will not be alone. In time, a future harvest of family awaits, but you are with them in this season. A person can feel a sense of family and benefit from it even in temporary settings.
There are people that have family while emotionally leading a cold existence. A marriage not well-matched can isolate a person into a shelled exterior. There is that saying about how a well that is dry cannot pour out to others. So where will this person replenish? Is is too complicated to encourage one to create some extended family before a situation like this happens? If you are a part of a club, a church, a sewing group, a charity, an annual fishing trip, a hiking group, or just have been a neighborly neighbor you have made connections.
Do you have someone in your life that cares about you like family that would knock on your door if you missed practice or study? Someone that knows you so well they notice thru the way you are texting you are not content. Utilize people like that in your life.
Maybe you are reading this and saying but author it is too late for me. I am cursed to feel nothing and have nothing as I did not create connections when I could have. I could not foresee my brother's passing, my spouse's affair, the loss of the job I excelled at, the distain of my young teenager, or that the one I truly loved did not know how to love. But do not despair my reader.
A negative outlook only slows the turn of events for your life. Hope is stronger than fear. Loving another and giving of yourself is courageous. Taking a step outside and noticing the aged man at the market struggling on his walker is an opportunity. Help others even when you cannot seem to help yourself. Somehow such deeds feed our own soul. That can be a path to healing.
You may have read that 'a brother is born for a time of adversity.' That can mean that we are here to support, strengthen, uplift and show compassion to one another. You do not always have to seek far for family and neither do they. Choose what is right and honorable. Do not underestimate the power of kindness returning to you tenfold.
Whatever form our family comes from it is not who or what it is. The joy, support, unconditional love, simple gestures and shared laughter bat away the forlorn pieces of an isolated heart. Thru such gifts family becomes whole once again.