Whether big or small, near or far, a family gathering is something special and unique. My fiancée often laughs because my family finds a reason to get together for just about any occasion. Oh hey, first sunny day of the year? Sure, let’s have a cookout. By the way, my cousin received an ‘A’ on a spelling test? Absolutely, a party is a must! And what would a party be without twice as many desserts as main entrees?
These are just a few examples of what makes my family unique, as every family has their own special traditions that are participated. It’s an identity ‘thing’. Your family, in many ways, is who you are. So, what better way to celebrate one family, than to join two of them together – a wedding.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of being a part of my sister’s wedding, as she married a wonderful guy. I can only imagine the sense of relief for her and my mother after months of planning for her big day. Although several months were spent in preparation, it seems as though the day itself passed with the blink of an eye.
I couldn’t be more proud of my sister, her accomplishments, and having had the opportunity to play the role of ‘big brudder’ for the past 24 years. In thinking about her wedding, it made me realize that a wedding is not only a special celebration for the bride and the groom, but just as much for the families of each person.
If not for our families, most of us would not be the people we are today. The love and bonds expressed within a family, extend well beyond mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers. The night of my sister’s wedding, aunts and uncles, grandparents, cousins and future in-laws all made it a point to share and experience this life event.
There is no love like that of a family. And I don’t give a damn what anyone says, deep down, there is a spot in each of your hearts for all of your kin. Truth be told, our family is what makes us, what shapes us, and what allows us grow into the person we want to become.
I always knew that my family was important to me, and they loved me, but I am not certain that I realized the magnitude of this idea until I saw nearly 300 people attend the ceremony and reception. Whether it’s been days, weeks or months since last seeing the bride and groom, to think that so many people took the time out of their lives to share in this experience speaks volumes – okay, maybe it was the free food!
Seeing the smiles, witnessing the tears, it hit me; your family members are the most important people in your life. And I’ve boiled it down to the following five reasons that I feel are most important.
- No matter how bad you’ve screwed up, it’s impossible not to care. Mistakes are to be made in life, but part of making mistakes is learning the process of forgiving. Aside from God (if you are a believer), the most forgiving people in our lives are the family members we are surrounded by on a daily basis. I promise they will forgive you, and even help you – because they genuinely care.
- Reputation means everything. Before making a decision, I often think, “how will this affect my family?” My family has worked hard for the reputation it has established, and for me to make a bad decision means that it could be a detriment to what so many others have worked so hard to achieve.
- Your family has comforted you in your worst times, and celebrated your successes. How many of you have had friends that have bailed out, or given up on your when your life took a turn for the worst? Or all of a sudden they were no where to be found? What about your family? They may have expressed disappointment, but, in my eyes, they never completely lost hope or left you alone in the dark. When life becomes more than you can handle, I know that I turn to family first – who do you turn to?
- They want the best for you. Your family doesn’t want you to fail. They don’t want you to achieve everything you deserve and then a little more. They are part of the journey with you, and are willing to help you along the way. You will encounter people in life who simply don’t want you to succeed, but I promise your family wants nothing more than you to be successful.
- The commitment is forever – Just as saying “I do” is a commitment to a significant other forever, so is the commitment of a family. A wedding is simply a way to strengthen one family with the addition of another. From birth, there is an obligation and commitment of a family to provide for those in it
Maybe you think everything I just wrote is a bunch of BS. I’m aware that not everyone has been born into a family that has been as supportive as mine. If this is the case, then your family is who you make it. By no means is being in a family an easy task. Just like anything else, it requires hard work, determination and the will to make it better.
As I move forward from my sister’s wedding, and how much of a celebration of family it was, I’m reinvigorated by what it means to share in this bond with those around me – because I care for each of my family members, as I know deep down, they care for me.
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