When I peel back all of the layers of why I’m doing this now, how I made it to this point, what it means to me and what drives me, I arrive at FAMILY.
So many variations, but any connotation is important – for everyone. It provides stability, community, strength, love, tradition, identity.
Whether you look at it from your own family, in your house and what you are creating now, or the one you have come from, extended family and friends, there is no denying that family plays a huge role in our lives.
My family is not a standard one, but it has still been a rock that has provided stable, unconditional love and support for me. It provides a culture and tradition, and everyday normality that I take from, learn and grow with.
Now, in my hometown, they all still gather together for dinner, sometimes up to 15 people, crowded around Gran’s table, everyone rotating the supply of food, entertaining the young ones, celebrating milestones and just being together. It’s one thing I can always count on when I am in town – seeing everyone at Gran’s and catching up in the lives of my family – always welcomed and loved – no matter what.
This is now of even greater importance to me, since we lost my brother Tim 18 months ago. Our family dinners were so special to us when we were all together. Now we continue them, because it helps us be close to Tim, but also because being close is our strength and a way of supporting each other this this now sacred ritual.
Family dinner means we can relax together, catch up, check in on everyone and celebrate the big and small things that are happening in our lives. We are supporting each other, establishing those traditions for the young ones, and marking milestones.
As the children grow up, these are the things that I want them to take away – that family is always there and will always love.