Monday, November 7, 2011

What Makes a Family

What makes someone a parent?

Is it providing the genetic material to create the life?  Anyone who reaches puberty can do that. 

It takes love, compassion, time to be a parent.

Being a parent means wiping the tears when the nightmares keep him awake.  It means holding his hand when he is afraid.  It means listening to him when he needs an ear after a hard day.  It means giving him a shoulder to lean on when he needs to cry.  It means guiding the lost teenager back on the right track.  It means being there.

It's a soft place to fall.

Genetic material does not a parent make.

Genetic material does not make a family.

Love makes a family.

Love keeps the family together when times are tough, not the genetic material of the blood.  Did anyone see the video of the judge beating his ill daughter?  Great father.  Does anyone care about the blood relation?  I don't.  I do not care about what blood my children have, except when they need a blood transfusion or if there is a need for an organ, and then there are enough of us to cover it.

Family is there in good times and in bad.  Family does not run.  Family does not let ANYTHING keep them away.  I swear there IS NOTHING that would keep me from my children or grandchildren (when I have them).  There is never an excuse good enough to walk away from your children or grandchildren.  It has been my personal and professional experience, that unless there are other extenuating circumstances, a court of law that will not keep a parent away unless the children would be in danger to be subjected to that parent.

I look around the hospital and I see love like no other.  I see sacrifice.  I see parents who give up everything to stand by their children while they heal.  I see mothers, fathers, wives who lose their jobs because they will not leave their sons'/husbands' bedsides.  We have committees and people who schedule spa days, day trips, dinners, etc. for us as special treats.  They are not too happy with me because I duck them and refuse to sign up for any of their spa days, dinners out, etc.  I am just more content sitting in Derek's room.

I also see selfishness.  I see parents and wives who claim to love their children or husbands and come only a couple of times and then don't show up again.  I see fighting, bickering, and oneupmanship by petty individuals who care more for themselves than for the wounded warriors lying in those beds.  Thank God that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

Derek gets happier when he hears from his Army brothers than almost anyone else.  Derek has his siblings, Michael, Kellina, Ryan and Sean, and he has his Army brothers.  They are his family.

No, blood does not make a family.  Love, commitment, honor makes a family.

This blog is about Derek's journey, not what happened in my past.  I have not addressed any of that, so anyone who would like to address that is doing so with only one side of the story, and not mine.  I will continue to refrain from addressing the past because it does not matter to this story. 

I am not keeping anyone away from Derek as he is an adult and has set his own room restrictions, I am not attacking anyone from my past, and I am only stating my opinion and my perception of the events of this journey.  If you do not like what you see, please stop reading.  Last I checked, this was still a free country.

God bless you!

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