family fractures

my family is very close-knit.

my father’s siblings are united by their love for my paternal grandparents and also by the fact that they’ve been through too many hard times to ignore that they’d never have made it without each others’ support.

the glue that holds my mother’s siblings together is humour. i cannot recall a single family dinner without all of us laughing uncontrollably at one joke or another. however, there’s also something else darker that keeps them close, which is kinda inappropriate to blog about.

despite the inevitable struggles and misunderstandings, ties between my family members have never been strained beyond repair. we have never gone so far as to stop visiting each other during chinese new year or insisting we sit at separate tables during wedding dinners, as have happened to other people we know.

for me, i believe very strongly in the saying that “blood is thicker than water“. of course it has alot to do with the fact that my family’s very close and we care too much about each other to maliciously hurt one another, but i just believe that family should always be of utmost importance in our lives.

i can understand how things like divorces and failed joint businesses, or anything else that involves money, can cause unsalvageable damage to family relations. however, i cannot imagine going through life having a strained relationship to people who share the same bloodline as me and who once were close to me. i also think it’s very unfair for the next generation to take the burden of their elders’ quarrels and carry on the hate and unforgiveness without even knowing the reason why.

hearing about the pain that my brother-in-law’s family has gone through really saddens me. he has no contact whatsoever with his mother’s family because of his parents’ divorce. whatever relationship he had with his cousins on his father’s side is now almost severed because of a misunderstanding between his father and uncle. his cousin sent him a chinese new year card anyway, but there’s no longer an invitation to his relatives’ houses for chinese new year. his father has also told my sister and him to not visit their cousins during this festive period.

it’s just not right to be separated from the people that are connected to our very existence on this earth. we make friends, we find family in other places like at work or at church, but there is no replacing the people with whom we share a bloodline.

anyway, here’s wishing you a very happy chinese new year and may your family enjoy good relations for a long long time. God bless.

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