Well, I don't usually do this but here is the post I wrote last night for my weekly reflection over at my other website. My (baby) sister is getting married this weekend and so you properly assess that I am a bit emotional. I've been thinking about seeing her for the first time in the hospital nursery; about arguing with my other sister over who was going to help my mother give her a bath or, yes, even change her diaper. I've been thinking about a lot of things as she gets ready to start the greatest journey of her life in promising to share a life with someone else.
I'll keep the sappiness down to a minimum (that will be for the letter I'm writing her personally) but the feelings I've been having made me think of the following quote and the following is what came out of my heart.
So good luck Kelly and Nick . . . We ALL love you and will help you in any way we can both before and after you become Mr. and Mrs. Starting your own family is a lot of work and takes a lot of compromise and you'll have plenty of disagreements, but I haven't found anything else that makes me so happy and I wish the same for the both of you.
So here is the entry that you two have inspired:
"The family you come from isn't as important as the family you're going to have." --- Ring Lardner
Family comes first; Blood is thicker than water; Family is your greatest support in times of difficulty and your biggest fan when you succeed - so the greeting cards read.
We are born, with any luck, into a family headed by two strong parents who love one another. By watching our parents interact we learn about love - love for our brothers and sisters and future children, romantic love and most importantly a love of ourselves. Our parents do their best to instill in us a sense of should and should nots, respect for others and the very Earth we inhabit, a sense of responsibility for not just our own personal actions, but for the actions of people we choose to spend time with, a thirst for knowledge and education - our parents, in fact, teach us to be human.
That's quite a tall order to fill.
Many parents find themselves overwhelmed with the responsibilities of raising a child at one time or another. Some parents find themselves unable to fill the role from the beginning and choose to give their child to someone else better prepared. And still others don't know what to do and so stumble along, unassisted, and just do the best they can knowing that it might not be enough.
No matter how hard they try, parents are not perfect. They make plenty of mistakes and their children, whether intentional or not, will have scars from those mistakes and those things which just couldn't be anticipated. It is impossible for children to go unaffected by divorce, death, neglect, over-indulgence, etc. Yet, scars don't have to be a bad thing. After all, scars are the remembrance that a previous hurt or injury has now healed. A scar can be a reminder.
And so, if you worry about the family you come from; if you find it necessary to seek help in dealing with the past you share with your loved ones; if you find that your family isn't as supportive as you'd like or they're always finding a way to influence your personal decisions - remember that the most important thing you can do is to choose the right partner, when the time comes, for you to build a life with outside of your previous familial cocoon. The right partner provides you with the chance for a new beginning.
Find the person who will compliment your weaknesses with their strengths.
Find the person who you want to fall asleep next to every night and wake up before in the morning just to watch them sleeping.
Find the person whose little ticks and habits don't annoy you to the point of wishing them dead.
Find the person who believes, as you do, that love and time are the most important things you can give a child.
Find the person, not who makes you feel complete (you should already feel that way before you even start looking), but who provides you with a different perspective and experience through which you may view yourself and the world.
Find the person who when you are working on an endless project at work, getting no help or praise for the extra hours and effort you're putting in, who when you go outside at the end of the day to a flat tire and no spare and it starts to rain will come to your aid (with a tire or a tow truck) and while your soaking wet and angry will hug you and kiss you and suggest a long, hot shower when you get home.
Find someone who makes your heart sing, especially when it doesn't want to, and take that person's hand and walk together into the great unknown. It's a risk - the greatest risk you can ever take really - but it also provides the greatest rewards.
Labels: family, love, marriage