Nothing Like It...
As imperfect as it started........
I wrote "You...." as a tribute to my PopPop's love for my Grandma that lasted well beyond her passing until he, himself, passed. It was a love that started the family, that makes me believe....there is no feeling like it and I know for certain that there is no feeling like having my family just the way it started and just the way it continues. The bond of love I saw from the beginning of our family is the one that has kept it the great bond it continues to be today.
It was not the greatest love story of all time. When I was younger I thought that my grandparents depised each other. Many terse words passed between them...complaints about messes...money...how life was....it made me wonder why they stayed together. It was not until the unthinkable (we all know it will come, but we do not see ourselves or the ones we love in it) that comes with the threat of death that I truly saw what kept them together. The love that emerged was greater than any I had witnessed throughout my life with them. I realized that they both had been hard-headed and stubborn. Their pride kept that love away and made them lose sight of it and in losing sight of each other and their love they both lost out on what could have been the greatest love story ever witnessed...it is easier...it seems to hurt less in it, but eventually comes regret and the loss of too many years that could've been shared wonderfully...but they did, however, give that love inherently to us and they did raise the their children to love one another and within that fold of love branched out a whole family of loving and caring and understanding.....a very strong foundation...hence a very strong inheritance that lives on in each of us.
Our foundation was built on the unplanned get togethers, frequent dinners for no occasion, the holidays, the birhtdays, the cookouts and just the get togethers for the pleasure of each other's company that were fostered by my grandparents. They built it then and we continue it now.
Family is a phone call answered with a smile in the voice on the other end..there is no other feeling like it. There is nothing like the people who KNOW you, ACCEPT you and LOVE you...no matter what the day or time..no matter what you say or do..FAMILY...not just blood, but feeling. There are, at times, terse words, but they are not meant to make you feel less...they are only meant to make you better or because they care so much for you that they are honest in their thought and their reactions.
Family is the meaning behind the everyday world we live in...there is no conquering, no proving, no "keeping up with the Jones"'; the people that everyday still smile when they see you or hear your voice. Granted, they may make fun of you and point out your greatest weaknesses...relish on the jokes of your greatest failures or weakest moments, but your achievements are not far behind...and the failures in the company of others outside the realm of closeness..... the circle of family and friends all bets are off...all that should be sacred knowledge is off....all that makes you...who you are is on...and they will all know,...love...laugh...and enjoy... share...and noone else can point out your failures to them...their clarity of you is inevitable because they truly know you..they truly see the transparency of you.....noone else can see and noone else will ever see...and you, yourself relish in that fact.
I grew up with many influences and life lessons to be learned. A worry and carefree life it was not, but it was filled with an abundance of love and laughter. We all have our make up and our own minds that add to each of us and our families. We have a history that assists in defining us and our relationships and our own experiences in outside relationships....each one different, each one unique, but with family the you find a bond that grows deeper as you grow older it can never be broken or hinged..it is life whether blood or found...deeply seeded within us we know who our family is and it is meant to happen.
We live our everyday work lives and strive to achieve "things". We do this so many times throughout our lives and we, at times, let it consume our beings and lose touch for a bit with what really matters. We take our families for granted. Granted in the fact that we know they will still be there.
This is where life gets complicated and we have our own things going on that we have to do, but If you died tomorrow would those close to you know that you loved them more than life? Did you pick up that phone at the thought of them even though you were in the middle of something you found to be important at the time? Did you take every chance and spend time? Do they know how much they have touched you, not through words, but through actions?
I have often found throughout my life that there are few people that truly touch you in a way that you care truly for them. When you find them you realize right away that you are lucky.
I chose a family at birth...(they do say YOU choose your family when you are born)...and have chosen family in life...this had led me to find the greatest love I could have found. They have taunted me...taught me...loved me..laughed at me..laughed with me...yelled at me and I at them...disagreed with me...agreed with me....disregarded me..came back...put me in my place...showed me my place...taken..given...loved...received love...inevitably...they are me and I am them and we can sit around a table and banter and joke..have serious conversations...have serious disagreements, but as we walk away from that table..there is still love and any outsider looking in upon us would be jealous....because we have found the greatest unconditional love imaginable within a family bond.