Thursday, 14 February 2013

A Love Letter

I love my family. 

This is not news.  Most people love their families.  Most people also love my family.  I'm not just being biased here, ask anyone, my family are the nuts.  Ok, so maybe I am being a little biased, but it is generally acknowledged within my group of friends that my family are pretty cool.  My parents get invited on nights out and everyone who meets my Dad desperately wants him to like them.  They're just that awesome.  They've also provided me with the siblings that I'm rather fond of.

We're the type of family who don't talk about feelings too often.  Spontaneous declarations of love are treated with suspicion and caution, with the recipient usually assuming that the other person is drunk.  The fact that I've chosen to express my love for them in such a public way will probably end with them checking me into the Priory, but sometimes you just have to risk these things.


Mum



Beautiful, well put together and with an absolutely filthy sense of humour, my Mum is everything I aspire to be.  She's had more than her fair share of hard knocks in her life, but you'd never know it if you spoke to her.  She has an almost superhuman ability to shrug off the things that would make lesser mortals crumple, and then to get hysterically upset about the fact that the hoovering hasn't been done in over twelve hours.  Her bonkers mix of fierce strength and baffling neuroses is wonderfully endearing whilst, at the same time, being very easy to laugh at.  The gentle ribbing that she is forever victim of is, of course, taken completely in her stride.

I have put my Mum through so much since my teens, and it pains me to think about the hurt that I've caused her, but she has never once wavered in her complete support of me.  She truly believes that I can achieve anything and her pride in all of us is overwhelming.  No matter what we throw at her, or what we take from her, she is always there.  Usually our friend, sometimes our bank, always our rock.

I am, and forever will be, hers.


Dad


This is, to some, a very scary man.  People tend to be a bit afraid of him because he commands respect.  You can't help it.  If you know my Dad, then you care about what he thinks of you.  I'm quite lucky in that he likes me quite a bit, and I therefore have rare access to the teddy bear (or silver back gorilla) within.  

The love I get from my Dad is particularly special in that he didn't even meet me until I was three.  He took me and my older sister on without question and raised us as his own.  This effort was not always received without protest.  He has been subject to all kinds of abuse and drama from us as we've grown up but, like Mum, he has never once wavered in his support. A fan of the tough love approach, he gives us the strength we need to stand on our own two feet whilst being a constant presence for the times that we just can't manage without him.  

He also makes my Mum really, really happy and I will be forever grateful to him for that.

Squeeze


Squeeze is the grown up.  She's the maternal one with the strangely man-like practicality.  She can drive backwards with as much ease as forwards and decorates like a demon.  She's also one of the most caring people I know.  In fact, it's usually Squeeze who gets upset by how few and far between our inter-family declarations of love are.

Squeeze and I fight.  We're both incredibly sensitive and prone to taking things personally yet, no matter what insults are thrown, I know she'll always be there for me when I need her.  Each of us knows to take angry words from the other with a pinch of salt and to wait for the inevitable apology.  Because the apology always comes.  Squeeze and I simply need each other.  I'm largely the most unstable of the clan, with Squeeze coming up a close second and, because of this, each of us has an almost unspoken understanding of how the other works.  We see the things going on beneath the surface that others might miss, and are able to offer a different type of shoulder to cry on.  There are times that Squeeze has let me cry to her for hours about selfish and self absorbed problems, never once judging me for it.

Basically, she lets me go mental when I need to.

Bunny


Bunny is my beautiful freak.  The little weirdo that never fails to make me laugh while, at the same time, making my heart swell with absolute pride and admiration.  

The baby of the group, I somehow managed to ignore her up until her early teens, which is something I will never stop regretting.  She was my little sister, I was a stroppy adolescent and I wanted absolutely nothing to do with her.  If I had taken the time to really get to know her I would have found her witty, affectionate and, above all, to have an awful lot in common with me.  Forced together by a move to Cornwall and a lack of outside contact, my relationship with Bun flourished and I now think of her as a best friend, as well as a sister.  

The thing that always amazes me about Bun is her courage.  She acts helpless at times, but there is a lioness like strength inside, born out of pride.  Rather than ask for help, she will take the bad times on her own back with a quiet stoicism that never fails to astonish me.  

If Bun is crying, then you know it's really, really bad.

The Little People

Lola

Brooke and Bells

Bing and Aston

Sway (and John)
So much personality in such little bodies.  Each of these beautiful, tiny people is a complete individual, able to make us laugh, make us cry and, sometimes, make us terrified.  The wonderful fruit of my sisters' incredibly fertile loins!

Looking at these amazing creations makes me so excited about meeting my own children one day.

Thomas

I have to give a special mention to Thomas.  The man who just gives and gives.  I don't think I will ever be able to thank him enough for all the help he has given me over the last twenty eight years.  Whether money or favours, he is always there ready to hand over whatever we ask for, getting very little in return.

And last, but by no means least...


The One


The beginning of my own little family. The one who makes everyday incredible, who gives me strength I didn't know I had and the reason for the smile I wear everyday.

So, I'd just like to say thank you to my family.  You've made me who I am and you continue to amaze me every day.  The little things you do never go unappreciated.  I may not say it very often, but you're the centre of my universe.

I love you all so much xxx

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