Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What does it mean to you?


What really does that word mean to you?

Does it mean your children?
Does it mean blood?
Does it mean lots?
Does it mean little?
Does it scare you?
Does it excite you?

To me the word has many meanings. Being military, family takes on a whole other concept. Because we are moved from place to place and typically live long distances from our blood kin. We do not have "family" to spend holidays or special days with. We do not have family to do cookouts or bike rides with. We can not go shopping with family like the average person can. You see we have to make a new family at every new home. This family is a collective group of special friends.This can be good and bad.

Good, because we have family in Texas, Washington, Idaho, Florida, Washington D.C., Germany, Oregon, Ohio, North Carolina and many other locations. Those wonderful people that became a huge part of our lives for a few short years that will always be on our hearts.

Bad, Because our real blood and financial family miss out on so many milestones. They don't experience the joys and excitement of our children. They miss out on sweet pictures and drawings. The miss out on ceremonies and picnics. They really do live through my photos.

This collective group of special friends, who I call military family are so very important to our lives. They step into our lives for a short period of time and help us through all those rough, easy, happy or sad days. But we leave them or they leave us physically but never emotionally or spiritually. A carved out place in our hearts is created just for them

What comes to mind when you hear this word?

What comes to my mind when I hear this word is the extreme complexity of a family. You see in my family alone, excluding in laws, we are an extremely diverse group. I have 3 sets of parents. Weird? Yeah a little odd. I have a Mother and a Step-father, a Dad, and a Father and Step-mother. My mom has a Dad but her father died at a very early age. So she has sisters that have no blood relation what-so-ever to me. My step-father has 4 children with grandchildren that have no blood relation to me either. Then there is the fact that I grew up with my Dad and his family. And come to find out I have no blood kin to any of them either. Throw in my real Father, whom I've only known for a little over a year now, and I have a few blood relatives that I do not know very well, if at all. So family is very mixed up for me. Never-the-less they are ALL my family whether they are blood related or not. I love them all dearly and would not trade any of them, even the ones I can not stand (yes there are some) or do not agree with (there are a few of these too). I still love them.

What would you do for your family?

I have thought of this one many, many times. I am nothing without my family. I did not get where I am today without them. I am who I am today because of them. I base my life decisions off of their life mistakes or achievements. I believe that we humans will never be where we are without a family. So I would bend over backwards to help them, to love them, to support them, even if they were making a terrible decision. I look at my family and think HOLY COW, I could write a book about how messed up we are. But are we really messed up? Is there really a perfect family? Most likely not. The branches on our tree are a tangled ball. But I like how messed up we are. We have gays, lesbians, un-wed mothers, jail-birds, perfect marriages, divorces, re-married, 3 siblings all with different fathers, uncle Daddies, high school drop outs, College grads, drug addicts and shopaholics, military, bar-tenders, Tattoo artists, Animal breeders, stay-at-home mothers, working mothers, dead beat dads and the list goes on. This does not change the way I love them. I may not like their lifestyle but I still love them and will hug their neck and tell them they are supported and prayed for. I could never pick my things up and walk away.

This week I have been here back at home, or shall I say where I grew up. The place where the majority of my family resides. I think of all the memories that have been made here. I think of all the family that have impacted my life here. I. miss. it. I miss being able to harass my Uncle. I miss being able to see my kids grow-up with their cousins. I miss helping Dad out with building or putting something together. I miss gardening with my grandma. I miss playing cards on the weekends. I miss going to my home church. Being home reminds me that life goes on. Our families continue on without us. They will go on with moving and marrying, divorcing and graduating whether we are here or not. But they will miss us. They will love us, most of the time. They will accept us and our decisions, even if they disagree. What makes a family is only described by one word!

LOVE, never ending, no expectations, just pure simple LOVE.

Not blood
Not marriage
Not memories
Not time
Not money
Not decisions

Just plain, simple LOVE

What do you think about family? Does it entail more or less than this? Is love enough? What would you do for your family?

To me, family is the all time greatest thing to have in life. I could NEVER live my life without a family. It would be boring, sad, uneventful, depressing and down right redundant.

So today as I look at having to leave so soon I am blessed to have all these interesting, yet amazing people around me to love and call my family.

Thank you all for accepting and loving me.

Blessings and come back soon to see what is happening at the HASKINS HOUSE