well,.. yes F *is* for the big F-word but I actually very rarely swear (it’s way more effective when I do as people know I’m really serious!).
So my F-word is Family.
I have the best family of anyone I know; I have a better family than people I don’t know too. It was many years before I realised that not all families were like mine – I thought ours was “normal” but as I got older and heard people talk about their families, their family disputes, dysfunctions and estrangements I realised that my family is actually quite abnormal. Post-teenage years we’ve never had any arguments or falling outs; …. no one has spent years not talking to any one else. No-one has been disinherited; no-one has disowned the family.
Perhaps it comes from being a small family… my father was an only child; mother was one of two girls. Mum & dad doubled themselves with 4 kids whilst mum’s sister married and had 2 children who have no kids so their line stops there.
We four produced eleven and two of those are now married. It is truly wonderful when we all get together – there are so many laughs. We don’t touch on many “heavy” personal subjects but I know that I could rely on any of them if I needed to. We don’t tend to ask much of each other though and we can be like a super secret branch of the CIA – sharing only what needs to be shared on a need-to-know basis. This can be a frustrating but it’s now just an accepted quirk of our family.
I think all of us have great respect for each other and we genuinely like each other. Even our next generation displays this respect and liking for their elders, siblings and cousins.
Pretty amazing really!
This is the last time we were all together – September 201o for my father’s 79th birthday. Only 2 of his grandchildren were missing that day. I hope he makes it to his 80th (I already have my plane ticket home) and I hope there is a full contingent for the photo…