There are many definitions of Family
- A group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head
- A fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children
- A basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family.
Family - to many people that word might just mean your mom and dad, brother and sisters, aunts and uncles and cousins. Even all the step siblings are considered family to most people. My blood family is one of the largest families I have ever come across. We have family reunions ever 2 years where many of us get together and just enjoy being together. One year we rented out an entire hotel in Wyoming with just our large family. Although I only have 2 sisters and 2 brothers, each of them have at least 2 kids each and even some of them have babies already! It's just crazy how fast families grow and the years move on.
To me Family is a lot more then just those that live in the same house as me. It is more then the brothers and sisters that I have. It is more then the people who are related to me by blood. To me Family is everyone in my life who has helped me through my good times and bad. Those who have been there for me over the years. Those that will still go out of their way to just say hi even if we haven't talked in a long time.
I have friends that my kids call Aunt and Uncle because we have stayed so close over the years and I would do anything for those friends just like I would for my family. They are the friends who have been to several birthday parties, holiday celebrations, or even just card and game nights at our house. Friends that enjoy your company as much as you enjoy theirs. These are the friends that I call family.
Another type of family I belong to is the military family. Being married to the Army my "family" consists of a lot more people then most. I do honestly consider all those in the Army or any armed forces a part of my family because I know what they go through every day and if any one of them came to me for advice or help, like some have many times, I would do what I can to help those people. I have become a pen pal to several military spouses that I have never met. I give them words of wisdom and good thoughts while their spouses are deployed. I also to send them a letter in the mail at least once a month. This is just a nice little way to say "hi, you are thought about and loved" and it's always nice to get something in the mail that isn't a bill or trash!
My three fur-babies
I also consider pets to be family. Not the pets that die a lot like fish, but dogs and cats and the long lasting ones. I had a neighbor in Italy that considered their cat so much family that they had a birthday party for him. My cats were invited over and they got tuna. Now that was a little out of my range to do for my pets but it was something I was able to experience. I also have friends who cook their dogs homemade meals every night for dinner. Their dogs have beds with pillows and blankets and they even have special seat belts in their cars for when the dogs go for rides.
My family has three cats that we love just like our kids. Different of course because they are cats but if you own cats or dogs or a pet that means the world to you then you understand what I'm talking about. We rescued our three fur babies from a lady who had way too many animals in one house. I chose the three I did because I have two daughters and a son and I thought how perfect it would be to have three siblings that were two girls and a boy. Our cats now act like our kids. Each one has a special someone to love and look after them. Since our kitties are only 3 years old I know we are going to have them around for a long time. They will always be considered part of the family.
So what is family to you? Does it include the neighbor next door or your friends of 10+ years? Do you call them family and treat them like you would your siblings, parents and grandparents? I love everything about family. I enjoy seeing my blood relatives and in-laws once or twice a year (wish it could be more), and hanging out with my friends who are family at least once a week. I love the bond that forms with being family and how you know you will always be able to turn to them if you ever need anything. Family to me is someone who is willing to be there all the time, no matter the situation, good or bad, or just to hang out with for no reason at all. Family is someone you can trust and not have to question their agendas. Family for me is a good thing, and I love my family!
Something that is always fun for me to do is make lists. I make lists for everything. This book on Family History is really neat. There is so much you can put in it about your own family. Whether it is starting from back in history or starting it right now for your kids to keep going in the future. It would be a great memento to keep for many generations to come.
Everyone's definition of Family varies. Some it is just their parents and siblings. Some have no one to call family. Then there's those like me who try to see the best in everyone and sometimes that is all people need. To feel like they are part of a family.
CassyLu1981 (author) from Spring Lake, NC on August 06, 2012:
EuroNinila - :) Family is great to have all the time! Thanks for the comment
Fotinoula Gypsyy from NYC BABY on August 05, 2012:
This is a great hub! I too have many people around me that are not blood related but I consider family. I actually moved a state away from my close blood relatives but we are still not that far from each other and still see each other once in a while. It's still nice to know I have family in the state I am in now even if they aren't blood related!
CassyLu1981 (author) from Spring Lake, NC on December 03, 2011:
Sometimes those are the best family members, the ones that aren't blood related. Thanks for the comment!
mljdgulley354 on December 03, 2011:
Great hub. Having lived 30 years 1200 miles away from my extended family it was great to have friends close enough to consider family. My children also have grandparents, uncles and aunts that are not blood related
CassyLu1981 (author) from Spring Lake, NC on November 28, 2011:
Thanks shami327! Life is too short not to love every second of it. Thanks for the kind words :)
shami327 from Dubai UAE on November 28, 2011:
Great hub! I wish more people would think like you, the world would be a better place isn't it?