I’ve gone this long without talking about my family. But I should probably get around to that, since a lot of who I am is due to my family. At an author signing today (I seem to be going to those a lot lately), the author talked about his family. His books are autobiographies and based on his life. He has a strained relationship with both his siblings and parents. But, when talking about them, one thing was crystal clear. He loves his family. For all their faults, all their mistakes, and all their flaws. He still loves them. I believe most of his family has passed on and with their loss he has gained a clarity to his feelings towards them. Our families are vital to who we are and they are the people who shape us. For better or for worse, our families are a part of us.
I guess I should start with my parents. My mom is tough. She’s practical, logical, and a teacher through and through. She’s strict and often very authoritarian. She’s very much a mama bear who would do anything to protect her cubs and make sure they are well taken care of. I often go to her for practical advice, because she always somehow has the answer to whatever question I’m about to ask. Emotional stuff? Not so much. But when it comes to figuring out the next steps I need to take in a problem, she knows. It’s scary impressive. My dad is the complete opposite. He’s hard-working, sensitive, caring, and a total pushover. He grew up in a difficult situation and worked hard to become the successful man that he is today. He cries at the national anthem, sad movies, and every single goodbye. He’s traditional and a “family man”. Even if he can be a little judgmental and uncompromising. A little old-fashioned. But I love my parents so much and I am so thankful that this was the deck of cards I was handed at birth.
I also have a second pair of parents. My siblings. An older sister and an older brother. My older sister is the oldest and we often joke that she’s the “little mommy”. She’s a bit of a judgmental gossip, but she’ll always be there for people when they need her. She’s sweet, kind, giving, and way too much of a pushover. My brother is the “comedian” of the family. At least other people think he’s funny. He’s charismatic, curious, goofy, and smart. He’s a nerd like me. A little cynical and cutting. Sometimes borderline mean. I love both my siblings very much, too. I don’t know what I’d do without them.
I often complain about my family. I often talk about them in general. I know I annoy them a lot too. But, at the end of the day, I love them. I’ve spent more time with them than anyone else I have ever met in my life. They are the only people who have never left. Not ever. My story would not be what it is without them and I am so incredibly grateful for them.
“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind”-Lilo and Stitch