Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Reflections on my Family

My Parents
circa 1964

In a previous blog post, I mentioned my current fascination with love. Consistent with that line of thinking, I have been contemplating various aspects of family. Some of the constructive words I ascribed to family in a recent speech included: listen, affirm, encourage, strengthen, responsibility, support, welcome, blessed, love, push & pull, grow, serve. 

The older I get, the more I appreciate the family I was born into. It is crazy to think that my sisters, cousins and I will soon be the elders, but that is the reality as many of our parents have already transitioned to the ancestors. My parents, aunts and uncles laid the foundation that we now stand upon.  As a child I was kind of introverted; as a young adult I was a bit isolated.  I didn’t cultivate close relationships with much of my extended family. However, in recent years, I have been working to turn this around.

At every point in my life, beginning with my biological sisters, I have had girls/women around to encourage me, support me, teach me, set me straight and reflect some aspect of myself (positive or negative) back to me.  I learned what it meant to love, even when we didn't see eye to eye. I now have a connection with a few other women who embody the word sister for me. It may seem trite, but I hold that designation above any other that may reflect on a person’s status or standing in the world. In our youth, sisters help us flesh out our identity and as we age, they continue to be sounding boards that aid in our continued growth.

Being one of three girls, I always wanted a brother.  Observing friends with their brothers gave me the feeling that I was missing out on a special relationship. Fortunately, my sisters chose husbands who accepted me as their baby sis, even prior to the exchange of vows. I have also been attached for several years to a couple of men who fill that role. Through these bonds, I am able to experience that protection, affirmation, and frankness that comes from brothers.  
I had the desire to adopt children when I was in my early twenties. This struck some people as strange when I mentioned it.  Since I already had a child, it was assumed that I didn’t have difficulty conceiving. Why else would anyone want to adopt? I simply had a yearning to share myself with children who were in need, for whatever reason. So imagine my joy now that on top of the two who entered the world through me, I have gathered a few more children. Along with their parents, I offer an alternate point of view, an open heart and, sometimes, a hot meal.

Finally, when I reflect on my family, that which I was born to and that which I helped create, I realize that I am additionally blessed to have ties that defy definitions. Closer than sister, brother, parent or child. Filled with transparency, intimacy and peace; these are the type of unions that the term “ride or die” was made for.

Just my not so random Monday night musings …I truly love my family ... as always, feel free to share your thoughts …


  1. This is remarkable!.. When I was growing up I had a similar vision. I always wanted to have a close relationship with my family and friend's but as you grow older reality kicks in. People go their separate ways and live different life's. You relate to a close friend as a brother or a sister and you relate to your family member as a friend because you barely see or keep in touch with them. I live for the two blessings that God has given me which are my two beautiful daughters whom I consider my only family therefore; God has giving me the opportunity to have good people in my life who I learn from, who I respect and look up to as a role model or as a person that I love. You are one of those people and I thank you for being such a wonderful, strong, independent, intelligent women. May God keep on blessing you and your beautiful family. XO

  2. Thank you for responding ... I feel the love!

  3. Thank you for capturing what I feel with your words. Always amwzes me how you're able to do that!

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