What does family mean to me?

This topic was suggested to me by a dear friend, someone I consider family, and I am so glad it was. This is something I have been wanting to touch on for a while now and I think it’s about time that it happened.

We have all heard that blood is thicker than water. We’ve also heard that family isn’t just blood, it’s who we pick and who stays with us through the good, the bad and the ugly. There are all sorts of saying out there about family. But what side do I take? What do I think about family and what exactly does it mean to me?

I have to start with throwing out that blood is thicker than water bit. While I do agree that some blood is thicker than water, not all of it is. I have aunts, uncles, cousins who I rarely talk to and who would not come running if I need any kind of assistance, yet there are people that I am not related to at all who would drop everything to do whatever they could to help. That is family means to me. When you want to see someone you love succeed and not ever fail, even if it means a little assistance from you every so often, always be as happy as possible and be right there with them sharing in that happiness, and especially making sure that they know they are loved and protected, in a sense, by you, to me that is the ideal version of family.

Now, I know that this may differ between individuals because others have extremely close families. Of course there are those who belong to families that have their brothers, sisters, cousins, et al. as best friends. While I love my family, there is a clear divide between family and friends in my life. Except for my sister, she’s an exception to that rule for me because no matter how much we fight, argue, or she wants to kill me… the fact of the matter is, she never does. I’m still alive and it must be because she loves me so.

My sister and I may not always be on the best of terms but when something happens and I really need her, those terms somehow disappear and she’s there for me no matter what. Once things are settled they may go back to being on not so good terms again, but again, that’s what family does. They drop whatever they are doing or holding on to to help in any way they can. As stated earlier, I fully believe that it does not apply to just family by blood either. Another good example I have is my brother, but not so brother, Derrick. He’s my brother in every sense of the word except blood. My father figure married his grandmother, who was raising him, and so we were together a lot growing up. Granted, he’s 7 years younger than me, so he’s my little brother. We had family dinners at my father figures house, I would go to his place in the city during the week to watch him while his granny worked and just to spend time with them and then my father figure and I would go back home. It was easy to do since he lived right next door and he was great friends with my Mama. If anyone asks me who he is to me tho, I tell them that he’s my brother. There is a lot more to the story than that of course, but that is just much easier to say.

Basically, after this entire post, what it boils down to is that what I think family means to me is that they will lift you up when you need it, hold your hand if you need that, kick you in the butt to get you in gear when you need that too, and especially, always, never let you forget how much you are loved, unconditionally. My furbabies are a perfect example of this, really. It’s a beautiful thing to have a good family, and an even better thing to find your own family in this world and hold them close, even if they are far away.

XoxoX
Jess