What Does Family Mean To You? by Alexis Houston

July 11, 2011 at 8:00 am 1 comment


This term is as deep in meaning as it is varied in definition. During my life, the term ‘family’ has become as mutable as a mound of clay on a pottery wheel.

Like many people, I am a member of a blended family. My father had children before he and my mother met. My mother had children prior to meeting my father. Growing up, we were all brothers and sisters…even though some of us hadn’t met each other until later in life. We were all members of a familial mosaic: separated by decades in age, miles of proximity and varied life paths.


I was a young child when my parents parted and we moved quite a bit after that. My father was in NY/NJ, except when he was traveling the world,  tending to music and business, yet he always kept in close touch with me no matter what to share, to guide, to teach, to love. We were family.

My mother encouraged our staying connected and often aided in me meeting my other siblings and distant relatives( her way of keeping family together) especially after my father’s death some years back.

As time went by and circumstances changed so did the bonds that tied my family together. People grow up and grow closer. People grow up and grow apart. This fact has been true with my family.

However, whenever there have been gaps in my life where I missed a brother’s love or a sister’s support, divine providence has brought people…true friends into my life that have become…family filling these voids and giving me opportunity to reciprocate.

Like family, we love and we fight, we celebrate and we mourn but most importantly, through it all, we are there for each other. As a result I’ve come to define ‘family’ now not only by  bloodlines but also by the unique and special relationships I share with the people who not only form my support team but who also help to shape the person I am evolving into. Those individuals who defend each other as fiercely as they would themselves. Our bond secures us our LOVE defines us. May you always know and cherish your family.



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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Ke'Lee Pernell  |  July 11, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Family is sooo important to me. They make each day a little brighter!


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