As I sit here in front of a blank screen I struggle with the words that are racing through my head. It has never been easy to articulate just what I am feeling or thinking, but it's time to talk about something so important... our families. Our families love us for who we are and not what we can do for them. They teach us how to look out for others and not just ourselves, they are a warm hug and kind word when you are struggling and they are our biggest cheer leaders when we have accomplished that oh so hard goal in our lives.
Our families pass down wisdom and knowledge to help us from making the same mistakes they made, yet these words are often dismissed by us in our younger years and often hoped for when it is too late to get their advice. While we are young we can take on the world and our family is there to love us whether we find our wings and fly or we find gravity to be a bit too much and we fall on our faces. Our family holds on to memories that make us laugh until we cry, and lend a hand of comfort when we experience a loss like no other. We learn how to love people and how to become more aware of others intentions. Compassion, kindness, love, empathy, strength, self worth, a sense of belonging, pride, and hopefulness are just the tip of the iceberg when we talk about what we receive and what we give to our family.
There is a reason why belonging to a family is so important, we thrive when we are allowed to fail and still feel loved. When we make drastic mistakes and are not worthy of compassion, but they show us we will find our way if we only continue to get back up and try again. An unconditional love... other that my Lord Jesus, there is no other than family. This family is not only bound by blood, my step dad was the best daddy I could have had. He loved me like no other. I often tell my son he has his grandpa's facial expressions even though that is not possible. He was very young when we spent time with my dad. And just because there is a blood bond, doesn't mean they are family. I was sexually molested by my biological father until I was ten. The very one I needed to be protected from was my own blood. Without him I would not be here.
I have reached a point in my life where I am missing what I once had. Most of my extended family is gone, people that spoke into my life and help me become the woman I am today I can never hear their voice, feel their embrace or see their smile. In the photo's below each one has someone I have since lost, some this was the last time I saw them. My great grandmother, Gram (my children made us one of the few five generations living at that time), My Step Daddy, One of my best friends growing up - my Grandma Hutch, and a man who pushed me and challenge to know who I am and what I believe -my brother in law Larry. I show these photos not for you, but to honor my family to my children and to hope they will continue on with their children, my grandchildren.
Hug your family and make sure to capture those memories in a photograph...printed for you to hold on to and share the memories with your children.
5 Generations 1992This is the last time I saw my great grandmother Gram. We were in Germany expecting our 3 child when we got word that she had passed. 2008-Last family photo togetherThis family photo was the last of it's kind as it was not too much after this my grandfather passed from lung cancer. My mom was their only child, I was their only granddaughter and my kids were their only great grandchildren. This was an amazing moment for all of us to be there. My DaddyHe didn't even remember who I was. We had to keep reminding him that I was his daughter. The anniversary of his passing is coming up this week. Thomas family 2008This is the only family photo of my husbands side...and it is from 2008! Children have grown and married with kids of their own, marriages separated, and my brother in law Larry has past. It's times like these, I am so thankful we did this.
About the author: Being an only child from an only child, family has always been number one priority in Misty's world. She is a mom of 4 adult children, mom-in-law to three, and the grandmother of 6 amazing grandchildren, in addition to being the founder, co-owner, and lead photographer at Mommy & Me Portrait Studios located in Chester Virginia. Misty is a strong advocate for documenting families in any season of life because we never know what we will miss in future years. Once a homeschooling mom, she has also developed our K.I.D. Video series to share her passion for teaching and learning and encourage families to engage in activities with crafts and recipes!