It's funny how life has a way of taking shape. Over the course of the last twenty one years or so, I've noticed the gift that is true friendship. There have been times during my brief existence when I've found myself alone and wondering who truly cared about me as a person; we're so quick to call each other friends or family but in our truest times of need/peril some of our dearest acquaintances are nowhere to be found.
I remember a time in my life, actually a very dark time in my life, when mother happened to find my sitting in my car crying as if I were a newborn child. If you knew my mother you'd quickly understand that she has a heart of gold and a demeanor which is quite calming; however, on this particular evening, my mother looked me square in my eyes and said a few things, one of which still stand out today, "Son, all you have in the end of all of this, all that you're going through is family, never forget this."
As I sit and think back to times not so long ago, I think that I've often overlooked family and at times, I think I've been overlooked as well. I'm not the most outgoing person in the world when it comes to my siblings probably due to the fact we each have different tastes and visions of how what we want for each other. I'm accepting of the fact that my sister will more than likely never be my best friend or someone whom I'd confide secrets in because at the end of the day, she just doesn't understand the person that I am and the same reads inversely. The beauty of these types of relationships is the fact that in the end we're still family.
I cannot begin to tell you how many times I've wanted to haul off and punch a whole through my brother's body! Here's a guy I've watched grow up and now he suddenly has all of the answers in life and he's attempting to tell me his expectations or wants for my life... Yeeeeeeah, I already have a mom and dad, haha.
But the beauty of it all is in the end...(Yep, you guessed it) We're still family!
The greatest testament in life is ones ability to identify with people. I've said this once and I'll say it again, my father sat me down at a young age and told me, "The moment you understand people/culture, is the very moment you'll begin to understand/appreciate life." Now, remember I'm forty something years into this life of mine and starting to understand what this all means.
It's rumored that on average, a person has five to nine close friends in their life, not including relatives. I would venture to say that I have a few close friends, a few quasi-brothers, quasi-cousins, quasi-nieces/nephews/aunts/uncles/grandparents/sisters, and quasi-parents. For me, the quasi outweigh nine and due to their love and constant want for a better today, I keep doing things which I wouldn't do on my own.
In a couple of hours, my brother (pictured below) turns the ripe old age of 40! I wish I could tell you how many times we've laughed over the course of our friendship, shoot, I wish I could tell you how much we laughed this last weekend while on a family trip to celebrate his birthday. I've watched his kids grow up, I've watched his family cope with joy and pain, I've taken hugs and given them as well; I guess to me, if I could take a step back and give anyone a true picture of what my family looks like, it would be this.
I'm blessed to call you friend, I'm even more blessed if I feel as though I can insert myself into your family.
- Knights Landing 2018