In meditation this morning, on the tail end of hurricane Sandy, I began to reflect upon the concept of family. As I lay there, I realized that there is a difference between relatives and family. Relatives are those people to whom we happen to be related by blood, either closely or distantly, but whom we don’t really know. I was thinking about some first cousins of mine. One in particular I couldn’t name her children (except for the oldest) and I’m certain she couldn’t name mine or pick them out of a lineup.
I’m not saying that this is a good thing. I think that it a sad state of affairs. I have other first cousins for whom I could not name ANY of their children. Family should know each other better. But I guess all of your relatives aren’t always family. You just don’t really know them like that- especially if you come from a larger family that is somewhat spread out.
Yet, while I was thinking on the subject I realized that some family is not made of relatives. They are the family of our choosing- friends whom we value as much as family and love like siblings. We know not only their kids but extended family all by name and maybe birthday. They are there when we need them when we call and often times even when we don’t.
In my last few moments of reflection I came to some conclusions. There are some relatives who I need to get a little closer to. It is even time to check in with some of my family whom I haven’t hollered at in a minute. But the bottom line is my little vagabond family (those blood relatives and those not) are mine. I love them all to pieces. It is very important to treasure those we love and to let them know exactly how much they mean to us. Life is precious and short. Nothing is promised. Living life to the fullest, for me, involves spending precious time with my family and enjoying every minute of it.