Today is the 2nd of September, which means it is my fiance's Birthday. It is also the first Sunday of September, which means it's Father's Day. Putting these events together culminates in: A Day Spent With Family.
I am truly lucky. My immediate family is made up of 6 individuals (including myself) who in most aspects, couldn't be more different from one another. My Mum is incredibly generous, kind-hearted and loving. She goes above and beyond to do anything and everything for her husband, children and grandchildren due to her being the most family-oriented person I know. My Dad is my rock and is also my favourite person in the world. He is strong and protective and truly means the world to me - we have a very special bond due to the fact that when Mum went to work full-time when I was seven, it was just the two of us most of the time. I've always been a Daddy's girl. My two brothers are outwardly tough and are constantly teasing everyone in an effort to cause a stir, but if anyone was to seriously upset any of us in any way: watch out! My sister is one of my best friends in the world. She is the level-headed one in the family who is always calm and reasonable and tends to bring some semblance of order to the occasional chaos that ensues when we are all together. She is fun and observant and has helped me immensely through my awkward teenage years and continues to do so in my early adult life. I would be lost without her. We are a strong, tight-knit group that love each other to death, even if we have funny ways of showing it sometimes. My siblings-in-law are also fantastic, and add more layers of love and laughter to the Walker family. My three nieces are the apples of our family's eye. They are beautiful young girls and are growing far too fast! All three of them mean everything to all of us, and no family gathering is quite the same if any of them aren't there.
When I think about my family, I feel incredibly proud to be a part of it. Every single one of the members are incredibly hard working and are successful at what they do. Even if we don't find time to see each other all together very often, when we do, there is so much laughing and talking (occasionally me crying when I take "playful" insults to heart) and we can definitely argue with the best of them, but we all feel at home with each other. To me there is nothing more relaxing than going home to Mum and Dad's for dinner, lying in front of the wood-heater in winter watching TV and not having to worry about impressing anyone. It's not easy to find people who accept you for exactly who you are, and while families generally don't have a choice - it is a comforting thought all the same.
It also strikes me how different family units can be. While my immediate family is made up of my parents, my siblings, my siblings-in-law and my nieces; my fiance's is made up of his Mum, his Nan and Pop, his brother, his Auntie and Uncle and his cousin. This family unit is just as tight-knit and protective of each other as mine, and have welcomed me into their family from the very moment that Reid and I started dating almost five years ago. Once again it is that feeling of comfort that makes this family stand out to me. The easy-going conversation about anything and everything and the constant willingness to do anything for any of the members if need be eptomises what family should be in my opinion.
I think that sometimes it is too easy to take family for granted. The fact that they know they are loved by you and vice versa can tend to mean that we don't say I love you as often as we should. That we don't make an effort as much as we should. All I know is that I would be completely and totally lost if anything happened to any of my family members and I love them all so much I can't even put it into words. I realise that not everybody is as lucky as me, and I know that a lot of families have some serious problems and issues that can cause alienation from one another to the point of never even speaking. I can't imagine how terrible that must feel. To me this idea just seems incomprehensible as far as my family goes - and that is why I feel so incredibly blessed to be a part of it.
~In truth, a family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by the number of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the rituals you help family members create, by the memories you share, by the commitment of time, caring, and love you show to one another, and by the hopes for the future you have as individuals and as a unit.~
- Marge Kennedy.