What "family" means to me...
Family means "unconditional love", something that due to my own childhood experience, I had to learn through having my "own" family. My husband of almost 18 years (high school sweetheart would make it 22 years) has shown me his unconditional love by always being there for me through rain or shine. Everyone goes through hard times, that's what life is all about (we wouldn't grow in wisdom and maturity if not for learning from our mistakes). I feel very blessed to have gone through my later childhood with him.
Along with my husband (Jordan), we have three AMAZING children (Kyle, Kaylee and Keith). Almost all in there teens, they too have shown me what "unconditional love" is. Being a parent has enriched my life in areas of which were missed in my own childhood. I was able to live life through them at the same time they were growing up (you could say I was blessed twice).
Also, I can't leave off my grandma (Leila Helmi Akola), she too has been apart of my life now for the last ten years and has brought much love and harmony where it's been missed for many years growing up.
Nor can I leave off my In-Laws (Roger and Kathi Smith), they too have been a VERY BIG part of my life (where my own parents should have been, but due to the dysfunction brought on by their own childhood tragedies and other certain unfortunate family circumstances within our own family growing up, were not).
Finally (last but not least), JESUS has shown me that no matter what challenges we face, He is always there for us...we just need to be willing to keep an open relationship with Him and listen to when He speaks to us spiritually. Not having a "father figure" in the last ten years of my life has been very difficult, although fortunately I've learned through the years to lean on the "Heavenly Father" during challenging times and he's proven to being there "every" time.
With all the above members in my family, my life is unconditionally complete...(with an exception of my very BEST friend, Karebear - whom I think of as a sister I never had!)!!
I love you all very much~