My parents have always been big advocates of family. I think it was ingrained in them. Dad being one of 11 children and Mum one of 6.

Long before we came along Dad’s family would get together every Sunday for lunch or dinner (it was a revolving door thing because whoa, that’s a lot of people). Plus the majority of Mum’s brothers and sisters all lived in the same country area that I grew up in and would socialise often enough. In total I had over 60 first cousins. It seems unbeleivable to most people. But it’s true. I never, ever wanted for someone to play with or to be my friend. not for a second. Most of my childhood memories involve my family in some way or another. All of the good ones definitely do.

So early into our lives, we knew the value of family. But what we really got as we grew older was the time and effort and the patience it takes to maintain family bonds through out the years. Dad and Mum though, they knew. They told us to work on it. Never forget to be great with each other. To be accepting and acknowledge that we are different people with lives to lead. But that ultimately it is family that makes you strong. Secures your feet firmly to the ground and lets you know that you belong. Somewhere. And that it is important to build a shared history together. Something to look back on and laugh.

And we remember because it matters. Family matters. Like the story from our last big family vacation (which was a lengthy 6 years ago) one New Years Eve in Memphis. Mum and Dad hit the centre of town on a trolley car to party the night away and us kids… We were off to Taco Bell. Because hey, what else to Aussie kids in Memphis on NYE do but locate cheap take out they’ve never eaten before.

We ventured off into the night in the direction that my younger sister pointed out. We were assured that it was near by. We walk and walk for ages. We passed things in the night that we never expected to. Unimaginable stuff. We talked and laughed and complained together. It was a great Aussie adventure. And after at least an hour we had reached our destination. We ate. Quickly. It was a bit of a let down really. And we ventured back. Back past the unthinkable, stopping only for the warm delights of Krispy Kreme. And as we turned back into the Heartbreak Hotel (yes, literally) we noticed that just a few blocks in the opposite direction was a Taco Bell. Bright and shiny. And we shouted at our younger sister. With smiles on our faces.

And that night it one of the clearest and most retold stories in our family history. Because we were together. we were relating to each other. It was a moment in time. And it is moments like that that bind you together. A Taco Bell bind. And although I’ve written about our literal families, parents and siblings and cousins, family means all those people that enrich our lives and contribute to us. Born or made.

Family is King. 

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