“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”
― George Burns
It had been almost ten years since I had seen many of my family members. Family members – meaning, cousins, aunts/uncles, second cousins. By no coincidence, that is also approximately about how long it’s been since I last lived in Seattle.
I had a whirlwind trip, a record-breaking 85-95 degree (depending upon which location) weekend, which included a family reunion on Puget Sound and a wedding on a farm.
It was my father’s side of the house this go-round. Everyone was in good spirits, we got to meet all the newest branches of our family, and get caught up on our lives. Interacting with family seems uncommon now, especially since the addition of social media. Facebook all but disintegrated the phrase, “What has she been up to?”
Not for this group though… for the most part, the general family population is not on Facebook, thus forcing us to … gasp, interact. Like a family. Like we did for so many summers, Thanksgivings, and holidays many years and times before.
I’ve posted this before, but I believe we are made up of the following:
50% our own being
25% our mother’s family
25% our father’s family
Nature AND Nurture.
Whether or not you interact with your family, their DNA is in you. Your eye shape, nose, maybe even your sense of humor and mannerisms…. pay attention, and you’ll realize you aren’t the only one with that unique trait.
If you do interact with your family, and it’s been awhile… you’ll not only learn more about your relatives, but you’ll learn a lot about yourself too. Someone in your family has seen you at your most hideous (permed hair styles, braces, full gold pantsuit with mock turtleneck- yes, I am referring to myself), and usually your best (college/high school graduations, weddings), and they STILL support you… even if it isn’t always said out loud.
From reconnecting with my aunts and uncles in their seventies, to fawning over my three-week old niece… you realize the way your family has affected your life and just how they’ve expanded over your lifetime- they existed before it, brought you into it, and will outlast it.
Parents need not be the only source of your hertiage or history… aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews… know things about you that you didn’t even know about yourself.
If you do hang out with your families frequently, consider yourself lucky. Try listening and learning from them. Thank them and appreciate them. It’s where you come from.
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”
― Mother Teresa