Wednesday, February 27, 2008


It's a totally simple yet utterly perplexing premise.

It's the people with whom you share genetic material, right? Maybe. Maybe not.

It's the people who raise you, right? Maybe. Maybe not.

When a concept can be defined with nearly unlimited variants, you have to wonder about the viability of the word to be able to convey a unified idea to anyone who hears it.

And yet. (Yes, I started a sentence with a conjunction. And I'll likely do it again.)

And yet... say the word family to anyone in the world and they will know know deeply. They will first think of their own family. If they can get past all the thoughts that process engenders, they may be able to conceive that your family (in all likelihood) differs a great deal from their own.

Beyond that, well, that's where all of life's greatest triumphs and tragedies reside, no? There are people related to me by blood for whom I have strongly negative feelings, while there are people I've known less than a quarter of my life for whom I have the fondest of feelings.

Your family is comprised of all those people you love - whether that be one person or a hundred and fifty. The people to whom you can turn for help, even if asking for that help is the hardest thing you've ever done. The people, regardless of their genetic composition, that form the basis of your life. You never know when they'll enter your life... or when they'll leave it.

I'd like to think I have something profound to say to close off this post, but I don't. I've just been thinking lately about all the folks I love and it's quite a list. A list I'm very proud of, at that!


Kyddryn said...

I think, if we're doubly blessed, we get both sorts of family - they to whom we were born and they to whom we cleave (isn't that a great word??) through life.

Shade and Sweetwater,
K, reclaiming obscure words one syllable at a time.

Kit said...

We were talking about this at the homeschooler's playgroup I meet with. We decided to look at family as an umbrella, since it shelters everyone underneath, and "everyone" can be whomever is invited to share its cover. This came up as we were musing and marveling over the many permutations (more good words) of "family" in our lives, which are no big deal for our children- for them, it's simply how things are. By and large, we decided, that's a very good thing to behold.

Gypsy Guru said...

It's when we find that we need - for the sake of the family itself - to eschew a particular member, even when it causes deep pain, that is of particular concern to me of late. I think my family raised me to feel as though each family member can have value, but that there are times when it's necessary to jettison those members who endanger the whole. Oh, and I gotta show you guys how to tag back to your own blogs in comments. Remind me later.

Kyddryn said...

Speaking of family...our sons are now officially brothers, given the way they were tonight - I'm sorry I was a disconnected mum this evening...Bird's had a case of the ass for the last week, and this was just over the top. Bleh.

See you next week...if you'll have me/us! :-)