What does the word family mean and how are our perceptions of the word changing? I looked up the definition and according to Merriam Webster Family has many definitions, but the first two seemed to fit with what I perceive to be traditionally held concepts.
1: a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head: household
2: a group of persons of common ancestry
The subject has been top of mind lately because a family member has been struggling and the issues this person has been dealing with came to a head on Monday. Fortunately, the family swooped in and was able to provide the support he so badly needed, but it made me sad that I had not spoken up sooner or inserted myself (forcefully if necessary) to get in his face before the situation became so grim. I can only assume he must have been feeling very lonely lately which is sad because we all live so close to each other and genuinely enjoy getting together.
The isolation that comes from feeling alone - truly alone - is difficult to deal with day after day. I can recall those feelings as a teenager and my early 20s. However, I did have a family that was present, and I'm certain that despite feeling distant and alone their presence helped keep me grounded. I would not like to think what might have been my destiny if they were not there. For my relative's sake, we all need to be a bit more present to help keep him grounded.