Wealth comes in many forms. Wealth is gauged by many people as having such, automobiles, toys, or cash or high-priced houses. And for many, including myself, wealth is about family. For me, having a loving, supportive family unit is perhaps the most authentic of the invaluable treasures of life.
Do I consider our family unit to be such a treasure? Let me illustrate with an image most everyone can relate to: a home. Consider for a minute what a home means to you. It’s a house, a place where you are able to be supported and surrounded by what makes your life meaningful. It’s your segment of the world where you feel the most safe, where it is possible to be the most “you,” and where you’re most welcomed.
Our “home” starts with the foundation of religion. It’s the base onto which the house will be built upon. With our “home,” Mama was the architect and builder of the structure. Roof, the walls, and beams are our family, reinforced and attached with our support, love, history, warmth, and enjoyment. Daddy, who was the provider and protector of the family, built a fence around our “house” in order to keep us safe.
The “walls, roof, and beams” included Mama, Dad, six brothers and sisters, and me. Mom had set the examples and targets for our everyday living. We’d had a particular code to live by. Family came first and our values mattered. We were taught to love, accept, and support each other and to be there for one another in the great times and the poor.
Mama’s architectural design for our “house” had stemmed from her own experiences growing up in her family. Her parents had fought during difficult societal times including World War 1 and the Depression. Her sisters, her parents, and she had to bear wartime dilemmas of their own with her brothers being sent to fight during World War 2.
Mama had become a master contractor of the family unit. Even now, though Mama and Dad are all watching us from above, we are a tight family. It truly is the constant that hasn’t changed over the years.
It’s never much mattered the actual size of our actual house holds, things like that, or the sum we had in the bank. Our family’s success has come in the kind of devotion, ample love and support. Occasionally, help came in the kind of money. But occasionally, it came in just being there, setting a supportive arm over a wounded shoulder, coming over and listening.
Families come in all shapes, sizes, and variances. One brick, one board, one wall at a time, though any family can be built. And in that family unit, its members will find greater abundance than anyone could conceive of.