If “family” could talk

If my “family” — the collective unit — could talk, it would have said something like “c’mon, people, get it together” when I was growing up. “Family” would have recognized we’re all fine and interesting people. It would have seen the potential in each individual member and nurtured each one toward that potential. “Family” would have recognized the joys and sorrows of living, celebrated the former, mourned the latter. It would have seen the creative genius of Phil. And celebrated each of his accomplishments. “Family” would have nurtured the spirited independence of Deb, celebrated her unique and artistic eye. “Family” would have smoothed the rough edge off of Steve’s sturdy shoulders, shoulders strong enough to carry burdens thrust upon him. Celebrated his strength without shackling and muzzling his sensitive nature beneath an armor of 50’s macho. “Family” would have said “you’re not just alright, you kick ass.”.

Instead, “family” waited patiently until we grew older. “Family” waited until we each grew stronger and gentler with ourselves and with each other. “Family” invited us back together, painted us in soft watercolors on stretched canvas: river in the foreground, Collegiate Peaks in the back. “Family” said “don’t give up.”.

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