When spoken, this word evokes feelings as diverse as each family. In some people, they feel a sense of belonging and community. For others, something entirely different and not at all pleasant.
Along my journey in life, that word family has engendered different feelings in me, too. When I was around 13, embarrassment was probably the keenest sentiment I experienced. But today, I would have to say pride and joy in belonging ring most true.
My parents both retired early. And, although stories abound recounting the boredom of retirement, I have been amazed at how my parents have found new interests and have pursued them with passion and commitment. To my astonishment, their new pursuits have forced them to learn how to use newer technologies, including how to Skype, text on a cell phone and research safely using the internet. Their continued adventures into new and complicated fields inspires and reminds me once again how much I want to be exactly like them when I grow up.
In fact, today, my mom is one of my greatest heroes. When what we had hoped for turned hopeless recently and I was losing sleep, she said, “I just can’t give up.” So with the fearless tenacity I have seen in her countless times over the course of my life, my mother perseveres in the face of hopelessness with indomitable heart.
No matter what has happened, what is happening right now, or what might happen in the future, I know my mom loves me, my sisters, and her grandchildren with relentless, fearless love.
So for me, probably the most precious word I know is family.