I didn’t choose my family, and they didn’t choose me.
Being close to them day after day can get annoying at times. We sometimes pick fights about the smallest things. We sometimes get on each other’s nerves. We sometimes grow sick of each other. We sometimes argue. We sometimes wish we had a different mom, dad, brother, sister…
We have two beautiful little girls as neighbours, aged four and six. One day, as my dad returned home from work, he spotted them out the front of their house, but one of them was crying. “Oh, what’s wrong?” he questioned softly. The little girl proceeded to tell him how her sister had pushed her. Along came her sister, looking upset and angry. “Why did you push your sister?” Dad continued in his gentle voice. She explained that her sister had laughed at her when she fell off her scooter, so she pushed her.
Dad strived to be sensitive to their feelings as he consoled them both, though I’m sure he wanted to laugh at how cute they were! He gave them a little talk about how, “You’re sisters; you love each other! Sometimes we can get annoyed with each other, but you’re still family.” As he said the words, tears began to fade, countenances began to soften, and the sisters edged closer to one another ever so slightly.
Moments later, as my dad said goodbye and headed into the house, he left two little girls smiling and hugging one another, all squabbles forgotten.
I often find that I have this experience myself when I’m having an argument with a family member. Sometimes, I realize that I love my family and that I don’t want to hurt them. This realization has an amazing way of softening anger in the midst of a dispute. It makes us realize that love is so powerful, and anger and hurt are simply not worth it!
Often, when a loved one dies, the person who loved them suddenly forgets all the things they disliked about the person, and remembers everything about them that they were fond of. They’ll shed tears of regret and wish that they could only have their time over with them. “Maybe then they might know how much I truly loved them.”
I don’t want it to take the death of my family for me to appreciate them. I don’t want to look back on all the days that God gave me my family and speak of many regrets about, “what I should have done.” I don’t want memories of them to be painful because of some guilt that I have of my actions toward them. I don’t want them to have died, believing I didn’t think much of them.
I want to look back with tears of joy; of all the beautiful memories we shared together. I want them to know every day of their life that I love them so much, and to never ever doubt that. I want to waste no time with continued disagreements and the silent treatment. I want our differences to be accepted with love, and I want to treat my family everyday like I would if it were our last day together.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has those moments where they’re annoyed with a family member. Is it really worth holding grudges over, though? We never know how many days or moments we have left to share with our families on this earth. Time really is short. Don’t we want that family member to know we love them despite whatever quarrel we may have had?
I didn’t choose my family; they didn’t choose me. I love them just the way they are, and if God gave me a choice right now as to what family I wanted out of every family in the world, I would choose my family, hands down – my beautiful family.
About the Writer
Sarah Tinning – Column: Living With a Positive Mindset
Sarah is a 18-year-old, living in Australia. She loves God, her family, singing, writing songs and novels, and playing guitar. She enjoys meeting up with friends, and just putting a smile on people’s faces; even better, making them laugh! She blogs about books, movies, music, and life at www.foreveraspiringwriter.wordpress.com