Family: gotta love them

Hello ladies and gentlemen. This week we are going to talk about unconditional love and our family members. We don't love unconditionally. It is a very hard thing to do. Recently I discovered that in the past I did not show my family this type of love. Love not only says that I am going to be there for you and that I care, it says that I love you for who you are and not what I want you to be.

When it comes to family it is true what they say–you can't pick them. As with anyone else, they are going to let you down at times and grate on your last nerve, but that comes with the territory. Not long ago I mended some fences in my family. My family was involved in a feud that lasted 10 years. It took the death of a beloved aunt to bridge the gap between us. To tell the truth I don't remember all the things we were feuding over.

However, I do remember wanting to meet my father's side of the family. I knew what they were going to be like before I met them (in my mind at least). When the meeting occurred, I was not prepared for what I found. The people that fell out of the family tree were not to my liking at all.

Instead of the perfect traditional family I envisioned–I was slammed with reality: alcoholism, public assistance, alternative lifestyles, domestic violence, drug habits, drug dealing, murder and jail sentences.

We tried to get to know each other and form relationships. It didn't work because both sides could not see past their own preconceived notions of who the other should be. They didn't like me and the feeling was mutual. Misunderstandings and intolerance nearly destroyed our family.

Today, an older and wiser Vette, realizes two things; there are no perfect families and family is everything. All families have skeletons that fall out of the closet when you don't want them to. Mine may be dysfunctional, but so are the majority of American families if you ask structural functionalists.

It doesn't matter that we are not the same. Their likes and dislikes don't have to be mine. Most importantly their actions are not a reflection on me as a person. They are who they are and I am who I am. We are a family.

congratulations from UPD to UAA graduates
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The person that said, “Life is short, love hard” was right. Life is short and we don't often realize this until it is too late. None of us knows when we will expire from this life so we should spend what little time we have loving the people who are special to us. Don't let sins of the past and stupid little arguments you can't even remember keep you from your family.

Know this, blood is thicker than water and I can honestly say that I love my family, warts and all. Can you?

`Til next week be safe.

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