Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Is Blood Really Thicker Than Water?

We are forever connected to our family through our blood, our shared history, our similar traits and features. If not for our parents, we wouldn't be here, if not for our grandparents, our parents would never have been born...the chain goes on and on. Some people have very close-knit families, and some do not. There are so many factors that affect our family relationships: age, distance, common interests, tradition, the precedent set by previous generations. Friends may come and go, relationships may change, but no matter what, our family will always be our family.

My family has always been very important to me. I'm fortunate enough to have close relationships with both of my parents, and though I never lived near my extended family, my grandparents and aunts and uncles did the best they could to make me feel loved. As the only girl on either side of the family, connecting with my five first cousins was often tough. That said, I am very grateful for my cousin Adam. As only children and rabbis kids, we have always had a lot in common and we remain close to this day.

As with all relationships, things change over time. We grow up and our lives take different paths, sometimes we become closer, sometimes farther apart. The family tree loses branches and grows new ones in different places, but the roots are still there.

So, why am I writing this post? Family relationships are complicated, and no two stories are completely alike. Recently, I have witnessed a dramatic change in the relationships between several members of my family. One has decided that he is going to do things for himself, regardless of how it affects others. This new philosophy has caused a rift between him and others, as he has become so consumed in it that he is no longer the same person he once was. He has always been a generous person, very giving, and so I commend his efforts to pay more attention to himself. However, he was also a funny, kind person who valued and cared about his family, and that part of him is gone.

I wasn't quite sure how to write about these things, and I'm not sure that this was the best I could have done. But, watching this change has been so difficult for me that I had to express it somehow. Unfortunately, I don't think there's anything I can do to make it better. Regardless, for me, blood is thicker than water. I love my family, and I always will. No matter how much life changes, no matter how much our paths diverge, no matter what conflicts may arise, they are my family, and that is a tie that can never be broken.

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