Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Importance of Family

Everyone has a family. Family can be blood related or not blood related. The dictionary defines family as a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family. Family is an important aspect of life. It is important for everyone to feel the sense of unity when they are together.

I am very close with my family. I care for them a lot. Every year over the Fourth of July we have a big family reunion. It isn’t just my immediate family; it is my whole extended family on my mom’s side of the family. My great aunts and uncles come together, and bring their children and grandchildren. We stay together in little cabins on a lake for three days. Those three days are my favorite days of my summer, and the ones I look forward to the most. And that is saying a lot because I am one of those crazy kids’ who travels everywhere and is hardly home during those three months!

When we get together, we immediately become close again, even though it was been a full year since we have seen each other. It never seems like it has been that long; we always are able to pick up where we left off. I am the oldest of my cousins and they look up to me. This gives me a great sense of pride, because I like to be a role model to them. They mean so much to me, and I want them to be the best person they can be. During these three days we mostly sit and talk. That may sound boring to some people, but to us, it is what makes the reunion so much fun! We recap old memories that we have. My favorite part is listening to the older generations tell their memories of when they were kids. My mom and her cousins like to tell stories about their grandma and grandpa (my great grandparents). I like listening to these stories especially, because I never knew them. I like learning about them, and comparing what their days were like with their grandparents to what mine are with my grandparents.

I also like learning about other past relatives of mine. I like hearing stories about how they lived, where they lived, and what they were like. We also bring pictures to share which makes the whole experience more enjoyable. One story we like to tell is the story of how my great grandmother was born. As my grandma says, “It was a snowy night in South Dakota. Grandma went into labor, carrying my mother. The snow was so bad, but the baby (her mother) had to be delivered. Grandpa took the horse to get the midwife. Once he got her, he was having trouble steering the horse back to the house, because he couldn’t see anything. Then the midwife said, “Drop the reins, the horse will find its way back.” And the horse did, just in time for the midwife to deliver my mother.” Every year we tell this story. Most people would get tired of hearing it, but I love listening to it over and over.

Many stories are told within a family. These are important because that is how they get passed from generation to generation. I know I will re-tell the stories I hear at my reunion at future reunions to come when I am the oldest generation. I am so thankful and lucky that I have the family I do. I know they are always there for me, and will always care. And by going to these family reunions, it just helps us become even closer and keep that special sense of family unity.

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