As Christmas came to a close, I looked around the dinner table to take it all in. My grandma sitting across from me, my brother diagonal from me, my step-dad at the other end of the table, my sister sitting to my right and my mom to my left. I no longer see them as a single member of my family, but as a mirror image of myself. My grandma who is courageous and loving to each one of us. My brother who is compassionate and has a kind-heart that shows empathy and understanding. My step-dad who is humorous and hard-working and is a positive influence for my siblings. My sister who is fearless and moves graciously and beautifully through each day without grasping truly how amazing she is. Lastly, my mother who has demonstrated self-discipline and strength during both of our challenging trials and has moved through them with a strong heart and mind. I realized while examining each of them not only how vital family is to have, but how crucial it can be in order to really understand ourselves.
It takes years for some people to truly appreciate their family members. When my dad passed away, I started to treasure time with my loved ones more than ever. Some people grow up with minimal or no family. Some people are blessed with a big supportive family. The family you have may not be blood. They may be people you have accumulated over your lifetime make up a new family you never had. Whatever your family may look like, it is critical to be appreciative of that family.