Do you ever have one of those moments where something completely knocks you out of your bubble?
A few weeks ago, I was walking to my car and I realized I was living in one, only because something knocked me clean out of it. The bubble I was stuck inside of was the lull of a good family.
I’m facing some medical procedures and, although not life-threatening, it’s caused my family to rally. Schedules are being rearranged and phone calls have increased. This is something both sides of my family have been good at for a long time, since before even I was born. Maybe it’s something lots of families are good at but I can only speak for my own.
Within this rally, I feel safe – truly safe – like it doesn’t matter if something goes wrong because at the end of the day, I know I am loved. That’s a pretty incredible feeling.
I really am spoiled. I have an aunt who is like a sister to me, but she is old enough to offer true guidance and support. I have a grandma who is so skilled in caring for others that she doesn’t even ask, she just assumes she will be able to help, no matter what is needed. I have a dad who is a you-need-me-I’m-there-no-questions-asked kind of a guy; he’s driving in from Colorado. There are others, of course, but these are the three that come to mind.
A lot of people I know do not have the luxury of good family. Their relationships with one or both parents are strained, or nonexistent. Their kids are torn between another set of families. Loved ones have passed away or become estranged, leaving them to fend for themselves. Most often, the holidays turn into interrogations, fighting, bouts of alcoholism and emotional abuse, or just plain boredom and misery. As they say, “You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family.”
If I could, I’d pick my own again. I’m so blessed to have good family. We’re not perfect, and to be honest we’re mostly a little crazy, but it’s a good crazy. We can laugh and enjoy each other. We can speak honestly to each other, good or bad. We forgive, we let go, and we help each other to remember the good times. That last one is especially important to a woman who lost her mom at such a young age.
My family’s love seems especially astonishing this year, and it is that which makes me most grateful.
What are you thankful for?