FAMILY – A circle of grandparents, parents, children and extended family, filled with love and affection, sprinkled with arguments and disagreements, bonded with loyalty and support.
Then again everyone is not so fortunate to be a part of this wholesome equation. I have always believed and still believe that families are made in the hearts, not by blood. Family is family, and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those people are your family. And if you hate those ties, those people will still be your family because whatever you hate will always be with you.
I remember a home filled with people and laughter. I have memories of long summer family vacations and huge celebrations. I cherish colorful festivities and large gatherings. Now I see a house empty and alone. The foundations have become victims of age and the fledglings have found their own route to their goals.
And a lot has happened between the time of death and birth. We all have our setbacks and have lost family in our journey of life. Holding onto family and nurturing those ties to keep them strong is not a one-way street. Nor is it the responsibility of one person or of any age. It is a two-way street, whether young or old. We are humans first and cannot be dropped into a preconceived bucket of clichéd living.
I don’t believe in doing things just because I am supposed to do so. Call me dysfunctional or unconventional, but I want to make sure I live for myself and not for the society. Human empathy and compassion, values and discipline, habits and morals are what are more important for my family and me, than trying to live a life riddled with judgments and grudges.
Take it from someone who knows firsthand, there’s a lot to be said for forgiveness. Grudges seldom hurt anyone except the one bearing them. How I wish a family would move above these man-made boundaries. I wish they give importance to family rather than outsiders, lend a helping hand and a sympathetic ear when in trouble and offer a shoulder of support when they make mistakes, instead of ridiculing and keeping them at an arm’s length, just because it is more important to put a façade for the sake of an arrogant and hypocritical society.
What a pitiable state of affairs, when relationship between a mother, sister, wife, husband or a child is relegated to the lower rung of a ladder, because we are weak in our minds and hearts! It still amazes me how some adults can hold grudges for long periods of time, even long after the event is done, long after the apologies have been said. Makes me wonder is it worth at the expense of missing out on some of the most cherished moments of their older life.
Simplify life, let go of the past and live in the beautifully abundant present!