‘Family’ seems to have different meanings to people around the world. Sometimes its definition can vary within a small group of people sharing the same household, bearing the accepted identifications as, mother, father, son, daughter, sister and brother.
Not only do most of us tend to focus more on positive expressions during the holidays, but each year, for a number of years, I have felt that my own beliefs and ideas have changed, for the better.
I continue to read, and study the teachings of such great people as Jesus, the Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Neal Donald Walsch, Dr. David Hawkins, MD, PhD, and others. I often re-read sections of books, or an entire book, and find revelations that I had either missed, or forgotten. Spiritual growth will do that to a person.
Personally I have a blood related family consisting of four children, three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, plus a sister who has eight children and an ever growing number of great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. I don’t know them all personally, nor have I seen most of them, but I’m very aware of their existence. I may know more about some of them than they know about me, because of my involvement in both my paternal and maternal genealogy records. Fascinating, for me! However I am aware that not everyone shares the same interest and that is perfectly acceptable. Wouldn’t life be boring, or monotonous if everyone liked the same things?
‘Family’, in my estimation, does not stop there, with just an account of those related by blood. I have very dear friends, and acquaintances, too, who feel like family. Some are here in North America, and others are on several other continents and in countries where they speak other languages, have different religions, and whose skin color is not the same as mine. We also are family. We communicate. We share personal information and confidences, and I love them. Any one of them, male or female, would be welcome in my home.
Perhaps some of you may think I am ‘off-the-track’ in addressing the theme ‘family’, so I will tell you a little about my immediate family, my four children. There are two boys and two girls and I sometimes marvel at how we could have spent so many years under one roof, when they were children, and yet, as adults, be so different, think so differently, have different religious ideas, and so on.
None of this would ever be noted by a casual observer when we are all together to celebrate a birthday, Holiday or reunion for whatever reason. We chat, laugh, reminisce, sing or whatever comes to our minds at the time. I am not only fortunate – that word can’t begin to express the love and camaraderie exchanged – I am truly blessed. If I had to explain how such a family developed, I can do so with two words, ‘love’ and ‘respect’. At this Holiday time, when we are truly focused on Thanksgiving, I again give thanks for a beautiful, loving family.
– Rowena Nichols, Columnist ‘Row’
Rowena Nichols, RN, Dr. MMT, PTA. Registered Nurse with BS in Nursing, Dr. of Medical Massage Therapy, and Physical Therapy Assistant(Certification). Beyond the use of her mass credentials, she has had a “full and rewarding life,” including living and teaching in Chile and returning to nursing at age 80. Currently, she is writing articles for several Newsletters and magazines, including problem solving for tutors of English at a Literacy organization in New Mexico.