The Elusive Perfect Family

October 12, 2011
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Family. A strange little group, meandering through life sharing illness and toothpaste, fighting over the last piece of pie, causing pain one moment, healing it the next, laughing, loving, and knowing that everything will eventually turn out alright because we have each other.
Sounds pretty close to perfect, doesn’t it? There are allusions of perfection all around us. On television, everything seems to work out in the end. The guy gets the girl, the cancer patient has a miraculous recovery. Life doesn’t always work out that way. True families don’t have scripts and directors, fake arguments and make-believe diseases. It’s all real. Real problems, with no apparent answers.

I believe that there is no such thing as “the perfect family”. Every family has its problems. Bad things happen, whether we deserve it or not. These are the facts of life, which many of us were taught or learned at a young age.

I come from a big family, a large, often disorganized, mis-matched group. With nine kids in the family, you could say that my parents have got their hands full. Just like any other, my family has their problems, both big and small.
“Mom, David took my Nintendo DS.”
“Dad, Mary’s taking too long in the bathroom again.”
“Make her give it back!”
“We’re going to be late!”

Everyday issues and skirmishes are nothing extraordinary in my house; however, my family is not unaccustomed to bigger problems, or even tragedy. Three years ago, my brother Mark passed away from drug abuse. He was only twenty-six years old. Mark’s death rattled the entire family. My sister grew withdrawn and depressed, locking herself in her room and shattering all her problems with the volume of her iPod. But when the battery ran out, there were all her unwanted feelings and emotions, just waiting to plague her some more.

I truly believe—though my sister won’t admit it—that it was my family that helped her push through that difficult time. We were the ones who unplugged the stereo and forced her to come play outside. We were the ones—probably the only ones—with whom she confided in, the ones she allowed to see inside her soul, if only for a quick glance.

Despite the arguments, the teasing, taunting and tattling, we’re family. Everybody has one, even if at times you want to walk away, beet red, and pretend you don’t know those crazy people. Crazy or not, they’re your family, and deep down you love them. Every family—small or large, black or white, skinny, heavy—every one has its own problems. Let’s face reality: there is no such thing as a “perfect family”. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t love them all the same. Always remember to turn to your family in time of need, and allow them to help you. Because as the movie “Lilo and Stitch” so wisely states, “’Ohana’ means family. No one gets left behind, and no one is ever forgotten.”





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charliebrown said...
Oct. 24, 2011 at 10:29 am
this brought me to tears. such an inspiring article.
 
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