what defines family?

“Blood relative” now is genetics. Blood used to be mysetical and powerful. In many ways the genetic blood of today can be quite powerful as well. Monozygotic (identical) twins can be looked at genetically to see similarities and differences and geneteics influcence on them.

I digress.

Family. Love em or hate em. Blood relatives. Adoptive legally and socially (example: the family that essentially helps to take care of another kid because their parents can’t or won’t).. A mafia style “family” perhaps that you never, ever, leave.

Some people have wonderful fond memories of growing up with their family. Others hated and dreaded every single aching moment and once they left as early as they could, never looked back. A little less and maybe you are trying to never look back but you still get sucked into family events and politics, an ever draining situation.

Growing up we may be love and cherished. Sometimes perhaps too much if an only child with no other siblings to have the attention deflected to.

In some cultures the family is small. The children leaving almost before they are adults. The nuclear family broken by fission, releasing its own form of energy from the cataclysmic release. The releasing particle/person carrying energy can someetimes continue the reaction in other nuclear families, both as a force to disrupt something stable or to help someone release from a bad situation.

In other cultures, the family as a concept is more important and grows and grows, interveaving relationships like a fine piece of lace. The family may grow to epic proportions, perhaps so large that what was once a thriving community collapses upon itself unless it has already spread out. The family still may be ruled by a matriarch (usualy longer lived) or patriarch, the person the great grandkids hear of and perhaps have nightmares about. Here the parents or elders are supposed to be respected and cherished for their skills, knowledge and wisdom.

Even in the nuclear culture the grandfather, if not “that old guy” in the retirement home, might be an occasional source of refuge and help; to be discarded and reused as circumstances dictate.

Nature vs nurture, we are molded by our experiences growing up. Not like a piece of fine porcelin ready to break with an indelicate touch, we have the capacity to be remolded. Some more maleable than others with will (mental fortitude), i think, being a great determiner of this capacity.

We cannot escape the influence of family. Even a family of animals like in the Jungle Book. Defined and molded, we use, accept and blame the single parent or siblings or the children that enriched or stole a lifetime.

We can attempt to move on and past things, but the act or need of doing so shows that there is an influence even if we want to forget it. Recognize it for what it is and accept it instead. It is and will be a part of you unless you have amnesia or die but don’t be limiited by this. Be flexible and open minded to help the remoliding into the person you want to become. This way you can be you whether within or apart from that which you have called your family.

-Santa’s Fallen Angel

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