Home isn’t about a dwelling or geography. Home is where your family is. We define family as the people who love you unconditionally, who welcome you no matter how long you’ve been away.
Bop’s family was broken up from a young age, and he made it a priority to be sure his own children always had time together. Bop didn’t need blood to consider others family. On his travels he always made a point to stop and visit the people he’d had long lasting relationships with. He considered friends of his and friends of his children, family. Once his oldest daughter was married, Bop made a point to be sure his two youngest children still had time with their older sister. Every year when Bop traveled from the southern part of the country to the North, he stopped to visit “family” along the way. It was as if no time had passed in between.
Gram was an only child, yet she had four children of her own, and plenty of nieces and nephews around. Once her children were grown, she always made it a point to be supportive, even when she disagreed. Gram never spoke ill of anyone’s decisions, she just would say, “That’s not the decision I would make, but it’s not mine to make.” When my parents divorced, I can still remember Gram coming and taking me and my older sister to lunch. As she sat across the table from us, she said, “This doesn’t change anything about our relationship, and I’ll be here for you however you need.” And she was! She continued to support her family after my grandfather passed, continuing to be there for her grown children as well as us grandchildren. Whether we needed an ear who would listen without judgement, or support along our journey, Gram was always a safe person to go to.
This lesson we learned from our grandparents wasn’t taught without any family strife. Every family has their challenges, drama, and “family business.” The unconditional love and support we witnessed as young children taught us that family is important no matter the challenges. The year 2020 has certainly brought about many challenges, for many families. It’s also given us all an abundant amount of time together. At home. With our nuclear family. With that being said, my hope is that we’ve reconnected ourselves to family and the importance of just being a family. Whether you have children or not, family is the people you continue to go back to, and they welcome you with open arms and big hugs. No matter how long you’ve been away. Who will you welcome with a hug when it’s safe to do so? Who will stretch out and offer you a hug? Those people are your family!
Thank you for reading! If you know someone else who might enjoy reading, please share. You might even get up and dance with your family!