The true meaning of family

This year was not an easy year for many, and it wasn't one for me either. A lot of challenges to face, from health problems, broken dreams to economic issues, many like myself are trying to get through the last few days left of 2010, anxious to say goodbye to this strange year and start fresh a New Year hoping it will be a far better one. The Holiday Season begun very early, some shops decorated for Christmas way before Thanksgiving but the Spirit of the Holidays didn't emerge until a day or two before Christmas.

My trip to the toy store was a breeze, unlike last year when I had to fight my way through the aisles and jump over fallen boxes. No, I got my shopping done in one night without getting a scratch and the wait at the cash register was a record breaking 4 minutes! When Christmas finally arrived, the kids were happy, the food was delicious and the company delightful.

The company was made out of my husband, daughter, in-laws, parents and good friends. I also have family and friends living out-of-state, and their warm wishes by phone and beautiful cards filled my heart with the Holiday Spirit. I made sure to make my own effort and call up those I had not spoken to in a while and enjoyed catching up and hearing their voices.

However, there were also those unexpected interactions which left me utterly perplexed (mouth wide open), and astonishingly these came from actual family members. Imagine calling up someone, wishing them a Merry Christmas then asking to speak to the rest of the family to wish them the same and be told they were busy, too busy to come to the phone. From what I understood, the card game they were in the middle of was to be undisturbed. I didn't know quite how to receive this but I certainly wouldn't want to disturb the card game! So I simply asked the indivdual to give my wishes on my behalf .

I hung up the phone and had great clarity fall upon me - tadah!!!

True family would be thrilled to hear your voice, chat up a conversation and talk about old times. Family appreciates you. When you reach out, they reach back. Family may be far and quiet for a long time, but would certainly welcome the chance to catch up. Family is there when you need them, and there when you don't.

Clearly, the so-called family members I sincerely extended myself to that afternoon, were not family but strangers in disguise for so many years. Pure clarity, a high energy but eco-friendly efficient light bulb lit up in my soul! As Oprah would say, a big ah ha! moment. My first reaction was to laugh - it was hilarious after all - who does that? Some might consider them insensitive, even impolite. But I laughed (LOL). I understood at last that you can't consider family people who just are indifferent to you. Family should be a caring entity not just a branch in your family tree. I am sure they have those they care about, but I awoke and realized I am not one of them. And that's okay, because in that moment of clarity, my heart filled with such great joy and love for all those who went out of their way to remember my family with a phone call, a card, a visit or an invitation to just spend time together. They are my true family and how blessed I am to have them in my life!

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