According to the Church of Latter-Day Saints, family is important because it provides love, support and a framework of values to each of its members. Family members teach each other, serve one another and share life’s joys and sorrows. Families provide a setting for personal growth.

On my behalf, I couldn’t agree more with the Church of Latter-Day Saints view on the importance of family. Although, the importance of family serves much more than what’s stated above, those are just the obvious. There is a saying that we get to pick our friends but we don’t get to pick our family, and to me, I couldn’t be more fortunate than I am that God granted me a better family than what I could’ve picked myself.

Family has shown me the extensive measures one will go to be there for someone when they need it most. Every family goes through the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, my family especially. My parents divorced when I was approximately in sixth grade. I thought it was the end of the world and that my family would be broken. Behind closed doors, my parents were toxic for one another, no one knew but my siblings and I – I knew this wasn’t how a family was suppose to be. As I grew older, I realized just because my parents aren’t married does not mean my family was broken. It’s a much happier world now that they are separated, and they have managed to still remain civil.

With my parents being divorced it made me appreciate my family more than I already had. I am very close with both my mom and dads side of the family, therefore, I struggle choosing between whose side of the family I want to spend holidays, occasions, more time, etc with. 3 months ago today will forever make that decision harder. I lost my cousin Patrick (my moms brothers son). He was 25, and from what we knew, a very healthy guy. He was successful, spontaneous, handsome, caring, and above all else, he was an important piece to our family. He’s aortic heart valve burst the morning of July 13th. That day changed everyones life that Patrick impacted. He was 1 of 5 boys, 2 of which were adopted when they were babies – crack babies to be exact. My aunt and uncle (who are now divorced), provided life for these 5 boys no matter blood related or not, they were brothers and they shared a bond stronger than anything in this world. Everyone struggled with Patricks passing – to this day I’m still in disbelief he’s gone. Josh, his brother, struggled immensely. Since he was a crack baby, he was already addicted to drugs the day he was born. Recently, Josh reached 13 months of being sober, was seeking major help and growing out of a terrible disease and he was doing so so well. With his brother passing away, it was too much for him and he fell into a relapse that lead to an overdose and him passing away this past weekend. I now feel as if my family is breaking.

I have learned that the saying, “hug your loved ones every chance you get because you never know when the last time you can hug them will be” is so powerful and true. Being away at school has taught me the importance in family and how much valuable time I am losing with them – but that is life and we must endure pain to make us stronger. This has also taught me that I shouldn’t have to lose 2 very important people in my life to make me realize how important family is – it’s not that I don’t think they aren’t important, I just never think of the what ifs in life while shoving my face with a turkey leg on thanksgiving or my aunts homemade cookies on christmas, because come on, who does. Time, is valuable, spend it wisely.


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