My gratitude challenge prompt for this week is family. Which suits me just fine as I am feeling particularly fond of my little cuties, I also happen to be seeing my parentals this weekend. When I think back over the years, I feel very blessed to have the family that I do. There are some truly broken families out there..people that never knew their mothers, or their fathers and I think there are some people and families who live through the unspeakable. My family is not perfect, no family is, but I really believe that everything we have gone through has grown us and taught us those things called life lessons. Even though currently we are spread all over the world, God has really given us time to grow individually and I think because of this, we have been able to grow closer. We were always a close family, but now it feels like we are a healthier one too. We were always in each other’s faces, knowing absolutely everything about everyone, and while this is necessary growing up, as we grew into young adults, I think it started to do more harm than good. We’ve needed this time to grow into the unique individuals that we are. My sisters and I have needed to become our own people, learn who we are and what we stand for and to know with confidence what it is that we each bring to the proverbial table, and I think living in each other’s pockets prevented this from happening.
And so, number 1 on my family gratitude list are my parents:
Firstly, for the obvious reasons, that my mom gave birth to me and my parents raised me, but also because though it was and continues to be difficult for them, they’ve provided us with this space as we are finding our way around this odd town called Adulthood. We are all so different and yet they have managed to love us all so equally. I can ramble on about the things they have given me over the years, and yes I am grateful for these things, but what I am truly grateful for is their love and acceptance, especially in the recent season of my life. I have been through some personal times and they have shown nothing but support and this means more to me than they may even realise.
Then there is Bronwyn, my older sister. I feel like our relationship is unique and completely different. Growing up we didn’t always see eye to eye, but somehow as we have learned about life, we have learned to accept one another and love each other despite our differences. She has taught me to love someone dearly even though they are not like me. I know this sounds weird, but I have always been a black and white type of person, whereas Bronwyn appreciates the different shades of grey that make up life. When we were younger this caused arguments, but now it somehow works. She’s the sister that we don’t have to be in constant contact with to know we still care for one another. In all our insecurities, we somehow have grown secure in our relationship. She has also taught me that sometimes life is simply grey and not black or white, even though I resist this fact, I am trying to see things differently.
Then there is my little sister, Caitlin. I don’t know where she came from, or which side of my parents she carries more of, but she is the most individual person I know. Because she was quite a bit younger, I didn’t know her so well as children. She was just this straw-coloured hair, Raggidy Anne of a sister that bounced around and didn’t keep quiet…for my own sanity I just had to drown her out, but then I moved away to study and something changed in our relationship. She became my best friend. At a time when I was battling to find myself and couldn’t seem to love or accept myself, she just did, as if it was the most simple thing in the world for her. There were times when I could share my heart with only her and no one else, and she would turn to me and without needing to say anything, I knew she understood. She gets me in a way that few people do.
Growing up, our family was obsessed with the series F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Even today we still send quotes to one another and laugh hysterically at a series we’ve watched countless times. It is a classic in our lives and this week I have been thinking about the theme song and how it seems to describe my current situation:
So no one told you life was gonna be this way Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A. It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year, but I’ll be there for you (When the rain starts to pour) I’ll be there for you (Like I’ve been there before) I’ll be there for you (‘Cause you’re there for me too)
And this is what my family is to me..there when the rain starts to pour..there like they’ve been there before…and there, because I’m there for them toooo-oooooh