Friday, April 18, 2014

What is Family?: Opinion Piece Part 5

A dictionary definition of Family talks about social units with kids and it's called a group. And then we had the nuclear family. Father went out to work at his job. Mother stayed home and did the laundry, dishes, and blah blah blah. Son and Daughter might've been pesky, or perfect little angles.

Well that's an old-fashioned, and honestly, a real shitty definition of Family. That is not Family. To me, Family doesn't depend on how many people are in your little unit or what their names are. It depends on the amount of love, caring, trust, and responsibility is in that unit. If you live with your grandparents for whatever reason, that's your Family. If you have better relationship and feel safer with your friends rather than adults, that's your Family.

Watching Long Island Medium on TLC and seeing all these people connect with their loved ones through Theresa Caputo has gotten me thinking about family lately and what it means to me. And this is what I've learned:

I have a small family. That is something I've always known. Me, my parents, two half-brothers, a sister-in-law, a fiancĂ©, two pairs of aunts/uncles, and a gramma all live in the same state. That is my Family and I wouldn't change a thing about it.

But when I think of all the long long dead ancestors that I have, especially the Italian ones on my dad's side, I realize that I don't really know how big my family is after all. They are the ones I want to know about.

Just because I want to know about them doesn't mean they're a huge part of my Family. No. They're a small part, a very small part. Not because they are dead, but because learning about them and who they were wouldn't add to what I am today. Because who and what I am today was shaped by the people actually living in my life right now.

So to answer the title's question...this is Family.

No comments: