It’s so effortless to think about what I’m thankful for while running. With all the endorphins flowing, it’s pretty easy to get into a thankful place about almost anything. It can be a little more difficult after getting off your sixth day of work in a row. I just left a shift at the Ronald McDonald House of Cincinnati. After spending the evening surrounded by families of all shapes, colors and sizes in some of the most difficult turmoil a human could endure, it’s easy to say, I’m thankful for my family members. The family members I’m genetically related to and not.
What is family?
From http://www.dictionary.com we have:
fam·i·ly [fam–uh-lee, fam-lee] noun, plural fam·i·lies, adjective. Noun
1. a. a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family.
b. a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for: a single-parent family.
2. the children of one person or one couple collectively: We want a large family.
3. the spouse and children of one person: We’re taking the family on vacation next week.
4. any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins: to marry into a socially prominent family.
5. all those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor.
The problem for me here is that many people in my “family” do not fall into any of these categories. I’m thankful I can add another option to this collection of parameters:
6. a social unit, mutually selected and/or genetically selected, to engage in symbiotic interactions throughout an unspecified timeframe.
I’m thankful for my social unit, mutually selected and/or genetically selected, to engage in symbiotic interactions throughout an unspecified timeframe. This includes my Ronald McDonald House family, my Family Nurturing Center family, my Penn State family, my Hope Express family and my biological family.
What’s your family look like and do they know you’re thankful for them?