Sunday, April 27, 2014


Friends will come and go, but family is forever.

George Engel aka "Dad" "Unk"
Dedicated to Aunt Judy who likes my blog and the rest of my family
Family is made up of a composite of individuals, all connected by a common link - being together either by birth or marriage.  The Google definition is "all the descendants of a common ancestor".  Today, this doesn't always hold true.
What is family to me?  One word - love.  Who is always there for you?  Who will be there when you are born, when you marry, when you get old?  Who will always love you, but sometimes hates you?  Who touches your heart with the inner most joy or the deepest anger?  Who will you laugh with and cry with?  Who do you try to grow up to be not like, but end up being just like?  Who knows your deepest secrets and will keep them secret except with other family members?  Who will come together and bury you - no matter what?  Your family.  It's a kind of unconditional love.
I read a book recently where one person remembers growing up in a very negative family until he is reminded by another cousin of all the fun and love that was shared in their very dysfunctional family.  Someone who remembered being picked on as a kid was reminded of being so close that they were inseparable. 
Is any family perfect?  I have never met anyone that thought their family was totally perfect.  There's an aunt who ran off with the milk man and a uncle who farted all the time.  A dad with an addiction and a cousin who married an alien.  I could go on and on.  Every family is dysfunctional in some way (and more dysfunctional if they don't admit it).  Why?  Because we are all human - no one is perfect, even you or me.  We all have our positive and negative traits, and most of them were learned from guess who? - our family.
Today was our youngest member's first birthday party.  There will be more after her, and the family will continue to grow.  She will always have us around her.  I already see her mom's characteristics.  She will learn from you and me - all of us.  Each newcomer, whether by birth or marriage, has to know that, no matter what, you are part of our family.  We will love you and hate you, rejoice with you and get madder than a wet hen when you look at us cross-eyed.  You are special, and you will always be special to us.  We need to pass on our love, no matter how crazy, to the young.
So, since we are all stuck together for the rest of our life, whether we like it or not, as dad and grandpa always said "Friends will come and go, but family is forever."  So, instead of just dealing with it, make the most out of it!  Cherish and love us for all our unique, wacky, weird, and positive traits!  We love you!
Love you,
Aunt Janet aka "Janet" "Jan" "AJ" "Jagnes Ann" "Smarty Pants"

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