Friday, May 18, 2007

Why Family Matters

I've just reconnected with a long lost cousin via myspace, and it reminded me of a time when we were kids and just had zero worries. When our days were filled with Grandma's cooking and trying to re-create outdoor fun in our indoor "prison."

Birthday parties, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July fireworks in the neighborhood- all pleasant memories that help tuck me in on nights when I feel so alone and burdened.

And no matter what crap I thought I had the right to complain about back then, today I know I am blessed to have them in my life. Yes, even the crazy Penzos...well, the one's I talk to, anyways...

Perhaps the older one becomes, and the smaller one's pool of close friends becomes, one takes inventory of what's really important.

I decided that my family matters to me because:

1. Family will never leave you alone. Even when you want to be left alone, they will call you and hound you and give you that tough love that outsiders might be too scared to give you.

2. Family will give you the last dollar in their pocket and the shirt off their backs. It's just what they do. And sure, they may hold it over you for the rest of your life, but they're family, not saints!

3. Family will all jump in and help you straighten out a stray child in half a minute. So even single parents like myself never really feel the burden of raising children in a one-parent household.

4. Family will let you crash at their place even if they don't have the space. Especially us Latinos- we're not unfamiliar with having 4 or 5 to a bed. It just makes us closer :)

And the number 5 reason why family matters... because your real family, whether related by blood or brought together by circumstances will always love you no matter what. And will absolutely make the trek up to Rikers to bring you some sancocho and white rice every week.

* my ENTIRE family; you know who you are*
And it's six in the morning,
Gave me no warning;
I had to be on my way.
Well there's trucks all a-passing,
And the lights all are flashing,
I'm on my way home from the place.