What does family mean?
Impending motherhood has gotten me thinking about family & what it means to me…
I am extremely blessed to be a member of a very close family unit. My parents, my brothers, my sisters, all of us are so close. We all support each other. We’re there for each other when things go bad. And I put all of this down to my parents. If we ever fought, as children, we had to hug and make up. We had to look each other in the eye and apologise whilst holding hands. We had to say (and this is no joke) “This is my brother. I only have one little brother. I love my brother”… Of course, this doesn’t mean that our family home was like the Flanders’… No way!! We fought. We grappled. We cried. We screamed. BUT we were never allowed to let it ‘hang’ or ‘fester’. We were never allowed to hold a grudge. We had to get over it… A lot of the time, that meant we’d turn our mischievous attention to mum, and gang up on her! I do not know how she didn’t lose it with us! TJ & I were shocking! We would taunt her. Run from her. Laugh if she got angry. Dare her to try and catch us (and always when she was in the middle of something – a phonecall, sewing, cooking dinner)… But at the end of the day, when we were going to bed, she was the one that we wanted to tuck us in. She was the one that made us love each other! AND HER!!
Looking back, I think it was fantastic parenting!! My parents wanted to start a new generation of our family. Both my mum and my dad were, in a sense, only children. Both for very different reasons, but they both shared one feeling. A general lack of ‘family’ in their upbringing. My mum grew up as an only child, only to find out at around 30 that she had 2 half sisters… My dad grew up as the oldest of 6. Believing himself to be the ‘big’ brother, until his ‘father’, in a drunken rage broke the news (and his nose) that he was a… how did he put it? Oh yes… A BASTARD (his words), along with… “You’re not my son, you little shit!” His family broke up not long after, with most of the kids ending up in orphanages, his mother literally ran away & my dad, a young man of only 16, was put in a boys home as they had nowhere else for him to go. He spent months living with kids that were ‘doing time’. He kept to himself as much as possible as he dreaded the question “what are you in for?”… “My mother ran away” never seemed like an impressive enough reason compared to the other boys’ exploits, like “I burnt my school down”. But, as luck would have it, a wonderful family fostered my dad and taught him exactly what family meant. He learnt what it meant to be a father. A man. A brother. A loving human being. But most of all, he discovered what he wanted to create in his own life. In his own family.
So, my parents had one goal. To create a family unit. Which they did…
Which brings me to the reason for this post. My gorgeous little brother sent me the most amazing message today. A message that brought instant tears to my eyes. A message that makes me so so proud! It’s so well constructed. So eloquently written. It paints an amazing portrait of a life not yet born. A little girl. A daughter. A niece. A little being that has not even entered this world, but is already affecting it. That is the power of family. And of love. Without that, what else is there? What else is this life about, but these beautiful moments that make your heart sing. Jake. I love you. Thank you. And I hope you don’t mind my sharing your dream…
“Hey Em, just had to let you know about this dream I had last night… I was sitting in a mild yellow room in a little chair, it was quite warm, outside there were vast fields and meadows that seemed not to end, the vibrant colours of green and golden sulfur were scattered everywhere. There was not a cloud in the sky as the sun lightly kissed my cheeks through the window. Sitting across this petite little table, not a meter from me, was a beautiful little girl barely 8 years old. Her blonde locks and emerald eyes pierced my heart. I felt the flutter of butterflies in my stomach as she smiled at me and passed over an empty cup of tea. She let out tiny giggles as I tried to gulp it all down. Her laughter was as beautiful to my ears as her face was to my eyes. Then, to my right, this white wooden door started to open. You walked inside and leant against the frame of the door smiling your biggest, most gorgeous smile. Behind you, the whole family (including Steve :D) were setting up the dinner table ready to eat. They were all laughing (and crying) – I’m guessing from one of dad’s jokes… HA! Nothing was said. I stood up and lifted this little girl into my arms. She was light as a feather and felt fragile to touch, but her arms around my neck squeezed tight as she kissed me on the cheek… The door behind us closed leaving her fluffy little friends to have tea on their own.
This was last night’s dream… Well, amongst fighting dragons and warlocks of course.
love you xoxoxoxoxox”
Well… We ALL have dreams about fighting dragons & warlocks… Don’t we?!