It is extraordinary that when you are acquainted with a whole family you can forget about them ~Gertrude Stein
When we are born, most of us are born into a family. While this may not be true for some, like adopted children, it is the case for most people. Some of us are born into broken families, raised by single mothers, raised by grandmothers or aunts, raised by siblings, etc. Usually a family is involved, and sometimes families are great and spend their entire lives being close-knit and loving. Other times that close-knit feeling disappears, or maybe was never present to begin with. I find this difficult to understand.
Generally the foundation of a family lies in the grandparents, however when the grandparents are no longer around weak families begin to drift apart. Family gatherings start to become fewer and fewer and eventually the only time families see each other is at weddings and funerals. Strong families hold together and maintain the love and that feeling of togetherness despite the absence of the grandparents.
Another reason families fall apart is that new families are created with marriages and babies being born. When this happens some people forget about the family that they had prior. They forget about the brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews that they had beforehand and the idea of seeing those people becomes a thing of the past. Family gatherings are no more, and even contact diminishes until it becomes nothing.
There are families that can overcome all of these things and remain strong and continue to get together and indulge in all of the fun. The families that have cookouts in the summer, the families that spend weekends together camping at the lake, the families that spend Christmas and Thanksgiving together, and the families that have yearly reunions to be sure that the idea of family is not forgotten.
Family is the only thing guaranteed to us when we are born, aside from life. We are guaranteed to have family, as we all have a mother and a father (whether they are present or not), we are guaranteed life, and we are guaranteed death. So for people to not treat their family members as one of the most important things in their life is one of the most asinine ways of thinking to me.
My own father has his dad, lost his mother, three brothers and one sister who is no longer with us. He only talks to one of his brothers and his dad at this point. At least one of my uncles does not even talk to his own father anymore. These sorts of things blow my mind. It should not matter what caused the anger to begin with, there should always be a path towards a solution and reconciliation. Me and my own father had a falling out, and didn't talk for years. When I had my first child we both realized that what happened in the past was in the past and that we needed to look forward because family is too important. So it blows my mind that people can just not talk to each other because they got mad at each other for something. As Jim Butcher said, “When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching -- they are your family".
Nothing should ever come in the way of family, because we are one of the guaranteed things in each others lives. To disregard family would be similar to disregarding one's own gift of life. We have one of each. Surely we can marry in to new families, but all this does is add more members to your already existing family. We cannot control the actions of our family members, but we can control our own actions and our own attempts to reconcile differences with those that we have fallen out of touch with. To some people, maybe it is not that important to reconcile the differences. To people like me, it is the most important thing, because I love my family. Despite our differences, despite what they might not like about me as a person, I still love my family. I just wish I felt that love from them. I wish I saw my family on holidays, my aunts and uncles, and my cousins. I wish I had a close relationship with my cousins and could see them and build personal relationships with them. Maybe time will change these things that are missing from my family life.
“My dear young cousin, if there's one thing I've learned over the eons, it's that you can't give up on your family, no matter how tempting they make it.” ~ Rick Riordan