“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” — George Bernard Shaw.
Family is important. It is where you are nurtured to become a happy, emotionally stable adult. When an infant, your cerebral system is still developing. Feeling safe in your mother’s or father’s arms is important so you can focus your energy on the development of this system. How your parents respond to you throughout your life through non-verbal cues, are as, if not more, important then the quality of your physical needs being met. I recall fun times growing up seem to be when we played board games, cards, or a more outdoorsy game like badminton or croquet. We got to be silly and laugh at times. We each had our own strengths and weaknesses, but we were accepted as we were.
As adults, at family get togethers, we tend to tell stories. Telling funny stories, reminiscing about things which happened in the past, was how I learned things about the family that I never knew before, or got to hear how someone else remembered something differently. Nonetheless, it is a time of bonding, of feeling happy and secure.
One can also feel like belonging to a family in groups, such as volunteer organizations. If a group falls apart, it can be like losing a family. I am currently trying to help keep a couple Toastmaster clubs going.
When a loved one passes, we are blessed to have our memories of them. My Aunt Elda kept a very neat house and her pies looked and tasted perfect. (My mom kept up with her older sister very well with house keeping and pie baking.) Aunt Elda did a great job of keeping in contact with grandchildren, nieces, and all. She bought a copy of my first book and was always asking me how the second one was going. (My husband says she was more interested in how I was doing.) She, herself, (with the help of one of her son’s) wrote a history of life on the farm where she, her two brothers, and younger sister grew up. My husband got the call from my oldest sister today that Aunt Elda had passed away. I am fortunate to have had a loving aunt with which to share my life.