I'm blessed to still have both my parents, and loving siblings.
I've lived far from them most of my adult life, and miss them.
As a young mother without close family,
I came to value their phone calls, visits, and gifts sent in the mail.
I needed that contact. It fed my soul.
It still does.
Family support is essential.
Because of distance, I was forced to look around me for the hugs and love I missed.
In-laws took over for the dearth of my own family.
Friends, organizations, critique groups, book clubs, co-workers,
and neighbors have all filled some of that need for unconditional acceptance.
As humans, we need to connect to others.
It's part of our make-up.
Primates live in communities, not alone.
Community keeps us alive and well.
In the 1980's, a study was done in a small Pennsylvania town.
These people maintained their bacon, sausage, and high fat consumption,
verses a group outside the town restricting their diets.
The purpose of the study was to prove how limitting fat can prolong your life.
It was a dismal failure.
At the end of ten years, those stuffing themselves with brats and beer had less heart disease,
fewer heart attacks, and when they did succumb to a cardiac episode, they recovered faster.
Years later, more of the gravy munchers were still alive.
Why? It went against all the science.
The researchers decided to study this small town.
What was different?
They found a close knit community.
They took care of each other and supported through illness.
They talked often, hugged, loved and cried together.
They were family.
The conclusion asstounded the pencile pushing intellects.
People need love and support of others more than a pill.
A doctor prescribes three hugs and a good laugh with friends as your cure.
If you don't have the unconditional love of close family,
follow the precepts of the Pennsylvania town and make everyone your family.
You have ample brothers, sisters, parents when you open your eyes and heart.
There is love to be shared everywhere,
and I've yet to meet anyone who refused a hug when offered.
Talk to people, share your hurts and joys and connect.
Be open and honest.
The holidays bring family to mind.
Relationship is the healer, connection the balm to our souls.
This week, take a look at who you call family and add to that list.
If you lack a mother, befriend someone.
Think of the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes.
Family is there when we're willing to open our circle and love.
Give at least one hug every day.
Tell someone they matter.
Do some kindness.
Call someone to say you miss them.
Laugh over dinner with friends.
Connect and be whole.
Be one as your family grows with that love and unity.
Tell people in your life that you love them while you can.
Love and family transform us.
Please comment and share your experience.