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At least...that is what we hope!
So, just what is "family"?
Who makes up a family?
What does dictionary.reference.com define "family" as:
- "a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not" - the traditional family.
- "a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for" - a single-parent family.
Looking at the above two definitions, a "family" is made up of two different types: traditional and single-parent.
And, there are families that fall into these categories...
But, it limits so many families, doesn't it?
I grew up in a "traditional" family; my father, mother and two brothers. Then there were the "extended family": grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins. We were a normal, traditional family, living a normaly traditional life.
That was then...this is now!
I was a single parent for a while; but according to the first definition, my ex-husband would have still been part of our family...
When I married my second husband, he became part of our family, as the step-father to my two children; and subsequently the father to our daughter. We were family; though blended, still a family.
And, where did that leave my ex-husband? Was he still considered "family", as the definition says "whether dwelling together or not"?
Hmmm...I wouldn't go that far to say he was part of our family at that time. But he was still part of my children's family!
This can all get very confusing!
These family units still don't address other families.
What about grandparents who are raising their grandchildren? The definition doesn't say "grandparents and grandchildren"; it specifically states "parents and children."
Foster parents and adoptive parents actually fall into the category of a "traditional" family, as parents and their children. Even though the foster "children" may not be "permanent", they are part of the family for the time they live in the same house.
And, what about homes where there are two mothers (or fathers) raising children? It isn't unusual to see a family made up of two adults with children - which is noted in the second definition, stating a "single-parent" family...
I could go on and on and on thinking of the various different families we see. But, what is the point of defining a "family"; of placing them into some kind of "category"?
A family is the people we live with; people we "relate" to - not "related" to as in relatives.
The people we "relate" to at work or school; the ones we "relate" to at church; the friends we "relate" to, even those we have never met!
Because there is that connection with those people who are not our relatives - but we come together because of what we share in common: our work place or school; our church; our craft or hobbies; our writing; whatever those many things are that connects us to each other.
We are all Family!
The one thing we all share is that we are all Children of God...
And that makes us Family!
So, yes I think that does make Family "a gift that lasts forever"!
This is Day 2 of "31 Days of Free Writes", linking up with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday group. Today is the regular FMF link-up, included as Day 2 for my "Free Write" posts. Check out all of my posts in this series here. For more information on the "Write31Days" challenge, click here.