What makes families so special?  Last month we celebrated Mother’s Day. Father’s Day is right around the corner. While those special days give us the opportunity to reflect, celebrate, and create new memories. There are 363 others days to celebrate our love and caring for those and others who make up our families.

A loving family represents a true constant in our universe–they are the ones we can depend upon. For those who have not been blessed with the perfect blood-related family, the door to a loving family life has not been closed. Individuals come into our lives for various reasons—with this extended family, we share understanding and love–and we benefit from knowing they are always there for us. We are uniquely bonded, making “the family” unique. Even though we may not always agree, in the end, we’re STILL family.

Does it require blood ties to make a family? Of course not. Humankind could not exist without the bond of love for one another. In some cases, that love is romantic, but in many cases the love is platonic. It creates bonds, not unlike that we share with the families we were born into. As a mother, I loved my children and grandchildren, before the day of their birth, and have loved them ever since, even throughout the various bumps in the road. With our best friend who has been there for us through thick and thin over the years, we’ve developed a bond that goes beyond friendship. Those of us who don’t have blood relatives can find absolute solace and peace with our adopted families.

So, what does family have to do with the quality of life? Whizzing through life on this planet together, experiencing sadness, joy, pain, nostalgia, love, and happiness. We do this together. Our collective experience ties us, and our families—the ones we love and cherish the most.

As the first half of this year comes to an end, let’s look toward the future with the ones closest to us—the ones we call family.


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