Many years ago I stumbled across the realisation that I had a passion for writing. From the short stories I used to right as a child to the more serious ramblings in my diaries; I’ve always done it. 

Family is important, this is a fact that everyone knows. It’s a short word that means something different to everyone who hears it. For some it is simply those who are biologically related to them, for others it’s every person that has stumbled into their life by mistake but stayed on purpose. It’s undeniable that you make your own in the end and they are the people that will always be around when you need them but how often do we see these people and thank them? How often to we truly count our blessings and focus on them? And is it ever enough? 

I have been lucky enough to have been awarded a loving and supportive family as I’m sure many of you have. They have always given me the space and encouragement to do what I love, so this is for them. There are times when you realise just how important your family is and from a narrow observation I made six years ago they have constantly pushed me to be myself. To this some still ask me what’s next and to that I answer; this. 

The family gathering can always stir up a huge mix of emotions and slurred words that trickle from the drunken men and women alike. The sound of UB40 and Bitty McLean blasts through the floorboards whilst neighbours and infants sleep. Even the people that aren’t actually related to us still feel apart of something bigger. The family gathering is, more often than not, a last minute impulse, that some look forward to and others dread. Wether it’s a carefully crafted affair or a crate of fosters and a bottle of Smirnoff infront of a boxing match it can take many forms and the hosts will usually only invite those who they regularly converse and socialize with. That’s not to say those who don’t get invited are any less part of the family or less loved by us all. 

The children will stay up later than normal and the adults will drink a whole lot more than usual. The kitchen will be stacked high with enough alcohol to probably start your own off licence. The smell of cigarette smoke and the sound of thoughtful conversations drift through the air and the younger ones will happily sit and watch the commotion go on. Some people will arrive drunk and for others it’s a slow trip from the vodka bottle to stumbling in to the back of a taxi. People feel compelled to do things that they usually wouldn’t do, they feel the need to spend the day before making sure the house is spotless. The ones who have no one to talk to will happily dance by them selves until someone will join them, the ones who over do it slightly and end up throwing up on the laminate flooring, the ones who turn the music up full volume with no care for anyone else but the family who wish to have a good time, the ones who even drunk will continue to try to keep a tidy living space, the ones who will leave because their kids have fallen asleep on the sofa, the ones who won’t leave just because their kids have fallen asleep on the sofa, the ones that will leave after a few hours and the ones that are too young to understand half of what’s going on but will continue to smile and hopelessly beg to go home, will all come together as one family. 

Even though it has it’s ups and downs and some people will leave upset and others bursting with excitement, tomorrow is another day and family will always be there to forgive and forget. It’s hard at times but it’s nothing more than genuine unconditional love, and for that I am truly thankful. So here’s to the Spence clan, here’s to every one of you, old and new. Wether it’s just genetics that bought us together I can say that I’m glad you exist. 

I ask you to take a moment and consider your own families, take a look at every single person you consider family and thank them for being in your life. 

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5 thoughts on “A look back before going forward. 

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