“the strength of a family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other.”
MARIO PUZO, The Family
there is nothing more loving and more heartbreaking than the dynamics behind families. and everyone has a story. no family is without defect. sure, families love to portray a perfect picture – especially around holidays or weddings but the truth is not one family is perfect. not one – no matter how many pictures you post on facebook, your not fooling anyone. the key here is: the goal is not to strive to be perfect. it is in that striving that a lot of hurt happens. you never measure up to this leave-it-to-beaver existence and it hurts. it is only by being vulnerable about your family’s imperfections that you find (maybe) the purpose in which you probably are going through them in the first place. to help others. to be able to offer your learnings of getting through a particular situation to someone else going through the same thing. you can extend words that hit home because you know what it’s like.
it is kind of like death or divorce or cancer. if you haven’t gone through it, you don’t know. and (please) don’t pretend you know. and don’t offer advice. however, if you have gone through it – your insight is priceless. it could be one of the reasons we go through what we do. who knows.
i remember being in my office after hours about 7 years ago. i thought i was the only one in the office and decided to have a good cry. my dad was dying of cancer and there was nothing i could do but be with him until the very end. hold his hand. tell him jokes. tell him i will always love him. i thought i was alone in my office but i wasn’t. a new girl whom i didn’t know very well was there too. her name was yareli. she came in my office and hugged me and told me that she knew what i was going through because her mom had died in a car accident just 3 years earlier. she didn’t tell me her whole story then and there but the empathy she showed in her action and her words told me that i wasn’t alone, i wasn’t stupid for crying in my office late at night. i had a friend who knew how to say more than “i’m sorry”. i will always love my friend for reaching out that night and not just slipping out or writing me an email.
it’s the same with families. speaking of families, this past week ROF and i got to spend some extra special time with ROF’s sister, susan and his brother-in-law, mike. susan has written some awesome articles for this blog which you can read here, here and here. susan and ROF have a wonderful relationship that i know means so very much to both of them. we had a blast this past week starting with the 4th of july and going until yesterday. here is a photo diary of the past few days.
there is nothing in the world like a loving family. ROF and i were so thankful to be able to spend time with susan and mike this past week!