by Kaylyn Johnston
Family. Defined by the dictionary as, “a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not.” This definition, however, does little to reflect just what family really means to an individual. Aren’t families more than just social structures, but rather, supportive networks where individuals can feel loved and accepted?
For some, family can be interpreted according to the dictionary definition: a mother, father, sisters, and brothers. Others think of their extended family members such as grandparents and aunts as family. Others find familial relationships through friendship, companionship, or participation in particular organizations. Whatever the relation, families love each other.
Families support each other.
Families are there for each other even when things go wrong.
Families work together. Play together. Laugh together. Cry together.
Families believe in each other.
Families accept each other for who they are.
This Valentine’s Day season let us remember to express our love for those who we call family in our own lives. Whether mother, brother, boyfriend, or godmother, remember that families love and support each other. Without family, our lives would truly be so much duller indeed.
My Turn on Earth: What Does it Take to Make a Family by Carol Lynn Pearson and Lex de Azevedo
by Joshua Cox
Music has been part of my life as long as I can remember. Growing up in the Cox family felt like a constant musical stage. No matter the time of day, there was almost always somebody singing or practicing an instrument in the home. As a family, we performed songs and dances. It wasn’t the easiest bringing everyone together, especially as the older siblings got into high school and all of the extracurricular activities and friends that come with it. My mother was the key element in making music happen in our family. As our family grew closer together through our experiences, music itself was an instrument we used to serve others in our community. As a result, our lives have been enriched and we have something familiar to come back to when we gather.
As for me, piano lessons were endured, but the fruits of practice were always enjoyed. Before piano lessons, I enjoyed making my own masterpieces at the keyboard – the kind only I could understand. Recently I tried to pick up where I left off several years ago composing music.
My family was on a vacation in Hawaii when I began this song. We were staying in a beach house, and I found a keyboard in the garage. In a rush of creativity, I began to pick out a melody on the keys. It wasn’t long before I had the first verse written out in my mind. Christmas was on my mind at the time, hence the Christ-centered theme of the song. I wanted to tell the story of a mother and father telling the story of Jesus’ birth to their children. This was something familiar to me. While music was an integral part of my family life, the very foundation of our family was based in our faith. Everything good in my family has stemmed from the religion we know to be true.
Last New Year’s Eve was the first trial run of this song. My family stood around the piano to sing, and even my mom sang a part. My hope is that this will be a meaningful addition to the longstanding tradition of music and faith in my family.
A great deal of gratitude is felt for the help of good friends and my sister. The music can be heard at joshsbox.blogspot.com.