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Family Matters


By Kevin Sheehan, Special Columnist

“Vivus: An Exposition Of A Volatile Mind” by Kevin Sheehan  is available in digital and in print on Amazon.com!

Regardless of weekly content, this column is designed to help others expand their way of thinking and promote creativity, empathy, and thought in general.


As we approach yet another holiday season, feelings seem to come forefront from the suppression we place them in. Many people struggle with the holidays, and reasons vary. Perhaps maybe they lost a loved one during this time of year, or this may be their first winter season without a loved one. For whatever reason, #thestruggleisreal.

Maybe it is because this is a season that is supposed to be very family oriented. Maybe because people feel like they aren’t able to give enough, or maybe it is because they are simply lonely. When there is a constant reminder in your face consistently that everyone has the one thing you want, and yet do not have, maybe that’s when you become resentful.

I’m not talking about gifts. I am not talking about a few paid days off from work, or a holiday bonus. I am talking about how everyone seems to be surrounded by those they love, and yet some of us……. aren’t. Money can’t buy love, regardless of any stories you have heard. A wallet is not a companion, and an iPad doesn’t hold conversation about hopes and dreams.

A new toy doesn’t tell someone that they love them, and a gift will never replace the smile. Gifts may become sentimental, but that is because of the memory attached, not the gift itself. A new gaming system doesn’t replace a human, and no physical object ever will.

It is a matter of being lonely. Holiday time is hard. Some of us may sit by ourselves on a day that everyone is spending with someone they love. In that moment, gifts no longer matter. All we wish is that someone would be beside us, just to break the silence. But our family may be in another state, our family may not be able to be with us that day, or perhaps, we no longer have a family.

One thing I have learned in adult life is that family is really who you make it. I may have my brother Daniel and my sister Laura, but I also have my sister Sarah, and my brothers Abe, Jorge, Drake, and David (there is so many more). They may not be blood, but they are as family as family gets.

You learn as you get older who your family is. Titles such as friend, brother, and sister may all become frivolous, simply because anyone can treat you how they want to treat you, regardless of title. Sometimes your “friends” will be the best “family” you will ever have, and sometimes your “family” (biological) will make you wish you were alone. And if you ever sit at home, and wonder why your friends haven’t called, remember: the phone is a two way device. Sometimes you need to take the first step.

I received a text the other day from a friend that I haven’t talked with for more than 5 minutes probably in the last year. Receiving that text was slightly surprising, but the conversation that ensued made me very happy. We used to be very close, and then when life circumstances changed, we drifted apart. We would send a text every now and then to see how each other are doing, but it was few and far in between.  After our conversation, I told him that I hated how distant we had become, because we were so close, and I attempted to blame life for being so hectic, but admitted I just had become distant. He said he had been distant too, and missed hanging out. Moral is, I was very glad he took the first step.

The point is, you don’t have to be lonely. Sometimes, we feel like we may deserve it. Sometimes, we may feel like nobody wants to be friends with us. But if life has taught me anything, it is that there will always be people worth being friends with. There will always be people to talk to, and as long as you let them, there will always be people that will call you family. Sometimes, we just haven’t met them yet.

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