They cross all borders, ages, ethnicities, and creeds. Rich and poor alike have them. You can find them no matter what time or place in history you search. They are not exclusive to humans and they are an essential part of us, whether we like it or not! They are families.
Whether they are connected to us biologically or created in our hearts, our families are indeed the ties that bind us. They are a part of our journey, helping to form who we are as people, whether we are the firstborn, the middle child, the youngest, or an only child. Then, as we grow and transition into new family roles, there are the moments that bring well-known statements such as “I’m NEVER going to do that with MY kids”, “That wasn’t me; that was you”, and sometimes that Aha moment of realization, “Oh my Gosh! I’ve become my mother!” (or father). Whether you are the child, the parent, the doting grandparent, the fun aunt or uncle, or an honorary family member, you can always name some of your favorite family memories within that role.
Our relatives certainly influence our wellbeing, bringing us joy and heartache. They are at the heart of so many of our memories and we cherish them for creating the people that we’ve become. That is perhaps why we spell the word family with -ily, which stands for I Love You.