What Family is

Published July 9, 2014 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Last week was pretty horrible.(I would say dreadful, but that’s the punchline to a terrible joke I told last week and the word doesn’t quite cover it.) There is the never ending horror of home repair. I think the house is on the verge of imploding and disappearing into another dimension. I hope I have time to grab the cat and some of my stuff before that happens.  (I invested a lot of cash into that cat and I hope to get some more mileage out of her. )

The week wrapped up with a vigil service for my recently deceased uncle. My cousin’s husband said that he didn’t know the meaning of the word “family” until he married my cousin. One glance around the room was all it took to show that he was right. Only a  third of my family was represented and the room was packed. I saw several of my cousins and caught up with a few of them.

Family rallies around you when  things go kerfluey. As they all did last week. One of my cousins is an elementary school teacher and as I was catching her up on the insanity that is my life, up to and including the EH and the Adulteress and the Fantastic Fun-filled Fracas that is my home, she just started laughing.  Her laughter was contagious so I laughed, too. I know she wasn’t laughing to be cruel; she was laughing because it is so unbelievable that it was hilarious. (Just so you know the three rules of funny: things that are unexpected, things that are absurd, and things that disappear.) Every single thing that is happening around me fits the mold. As an elementary school teacher, she knows that laughter can diffuse a freak-out.

Family will do that for you. They make you laugh to calm you down.

Family will also hug you and help you understand that you are part of something bigger than yourself.

Family also reminds you that no matter what you did when you were a small child, they will always stand by you and bring forth a fiery vengeance on all of your enemies large or small.

My uncle was a Korean War Veteran. The Army says they have no record of him serving, so he didn’t get all of the veteran hoopla that he should have. I have a cousin who is an Army captain.

My cousin came in full uniform with an American flag to present to my aunt so that my uncle could have the salute and reward that he deserved.

Family fills in the gaps. It was amazing to me that Na-Na grew up to become an Army Captain and outclassed us all.

(Ok, the joke to which I referred: Have you heard about the shampoo shortage in Jamaica? It’s dreadful)

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