Nobody gets us like family does

My husband, son, and I recently returned from a trip to Tennessee to see family. We spent three glorious days talking, laughing, golfing, shopping, and eating fabulous food. This trip is one we try to make at least once a year, and it never disappoints.

Although I was born and raised in Georgia, Tennessee has always felt more like home to me. My parents hailed from there, and my sister, brother-in-law and family still live there. I went to college in Nashville. I still have friends there. In my opinion, Tennessee is a much prettier state than the pone we call “home.” The climate is better than Georgia’s, and it holds so any precious memories for me. Maybe one day we’ll end up moving there but if not, we’ll have these annual visits to cherish.

As we all sat around the bonfire one evening during this last visit, I took a minute to look at each person who had gathered there. My sister and her husband, my husband and son, my nieces, my great-niece and nephew, and a couple of their significant others laughed, shared stories and memories, and we all just … soaked it in. The food was excellent; the company was even better. The time went way too fast.

I was reminded in that moment that no one get us like our family does. In few, if any, other groups do we feel as “at home” as we do with family that we love. I understand that not everyone has those feelings about their families, and I know that there is often discord and estrangement within families. It is my sincere hope that, in those cases, friends fill that space. 

Having people in our lives who really know us – not just the public “us” that we shine up and hide behind – gives us something to hold onto. Having these people in our lives anchors us to who we are, to what’s real and to what matters. Without seeing our reflections in the eyes of those who really know and love us, we feel invisible. No human being should feel invisible.

At any rate, after a few days of golfing and shopping and just thoroughly enjoying each other, it was time for us to leave. I am always torn at this point in our family visits. Of course I miss our home and our dogs, our friends and our familiar places, but I still leave a tiny piece of my heart in my family’s home in Tennessee every time we wave goodbye. Within a few months, we’ll begin thinking about planning our next visit. Until then, I will scroll through the photos we took (I’m terrible about getting photos printed, mostly because I don’t know how), smile at the new memories we made, hold dear the secrets shared, and love them with all my heart.

No one gets us like family does.

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