Since this website is, after all, called Family Bridge, I figured I should take some time and address on of the most important communities that surround us: family. I was recently helping a friend of mine who is engaged look for DFW wedding venues. She explained to me how stressed she was about all the details, planning, and getting everything done before the big day. When I asked if her family was being helpful at all, I thought she was going to begin crying. She could barely get out the words about how supportive her family was in every decision she made and was constantly encouraging her to make it her day and not worry about what others think. I was in awe. For many families, a wedding can make or break them. Unfortunately, it tends to be the latter more often than not. This is the group of people you are raised around, spent your childhood with or have an intimate bond with. I believe there are all different types of families and that the family bond manifests itself in many diverse ways. For me, my family consists of the four people I am closest to and would do anything for; my mom, dad, sister and brother. I completely understand that not everyone has this. Some people only have one parent, or no siblings, or maybe even no parents. But for many people, blood ties can be the strongest. It breaks my heart when I see families in dispute, especially if the cause is trite or petty. That is a relationship that I hope lasts as long as we are all living.
Another form of family community that I have also experienced, can be one or two (maybe more) close friends. I have one friend in particular who adopts our last name when she is over at our house and even goes so far as to call my mother, “Mom”. She lets herself in our front door and helps herself to our food and is completely comfortable engaging with any of my family members.This may sound like she is being rude, but I promise it just means we are family. Family involves trust, loyalty, and love. All of these ingredients together constitutes family, and without even one of them, the true essence of family cannot exist. In the case of my friend and my family itself, I trust, respect, love and would do anything for any of them.
The last type of family that comes to mind is a bond between a certain group of people like a team or a church. These bonds can come from a common interest bringing people who wouldn’t ordinarily be friends or family, and uniting them with a common goal. For me, being on a team meant becoming a family. If we could not work together effectively, we would not achieve our ultimate goal of winning. We spent nearly four months with each other almost everyday. We did not always like each other all the time, but when the season ended and we came out on the other side, we had a bond that was deeper than friendship. We were a family. You do not spend that much time with the same people and not get to know them so intimately and thoroughly. Friendship can be forged through time and hard work.
I would venture to say that almost everyone has a family, regardless of the category it falls under. Treasure these relationships. Harbor them and preserve them. I love knowing that whatever happens, I have people around me who genuinely care about me and will catch me if I fall. Living in this type of community where everyone cares about each other is utterly blissful. How we treat each other plays a huge factor in family.Do not take any relationship for granted and know that if you want any relationship, friendship, companionship, even acquaintanceship to work, you have to take the effort to show people you care. After all, the saying goes: “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. And this applies very realistically to family and to community.