Our Family Unit The House That Flora Built
Wealth comes in many forms. Some people gauge wealth as having money or expensive homes, cars, toys, or the like. And for many, including myself, wealth is about family. For me, having a loving, supportive family unit is perhaps the truest of life’s invaluable treasures.
Why do I consider our family unit to be such a treasure? Let me illustrate with an image most everyone can relate to: a house. Consider for a moment what a house means to you. It’s a home, a place where you can be supported and surrounded by what makes your life meaningful. It’s your section of the world where you feel the most safe, where you can be the most “you,” and where you are most welcomed.
Our “house” starts with the foundation of faith. It is the base onto which the house will be built upon. With our “house,” Mama was the architect and builder of the structure. The walls, roof, and beams are our family members, attached and strengthened with our support, love, history, warmth, and joy. Daddy, who had been the provider and protector of the family, built a fence around our “house” in order to keep us safe.
The “walls, roof, and beams” included Mama, Daddy, six brothers and sisters, and me. Mama had set the examples and goals for our everyday living. We’d had a certain code to live by. Family came first and our values mattered. We were taught to love, accept, and support each other and to be there for one another in the good times and the bad.
Mama’s architectural design for our “house” had stemmed from her own experiences growing up in her family. Her parents had struggled during difficult social times including the Depression and World War I. And she, her parents, and her sisters had to endure wartime issues of their own with her brothers being sent overseas during WWII. It had brought their family unit even closer together as they prayed many times a day for the sons’ safe return.
Thankfully, Mama’s brothers had come home and the family unit was again, whole. So from this example and many others, Mama had become a master contractor of the family unit. Even today, though Mama and Daddy are watching us all from above, we are a tight family. We each have constructed our own “houses” and crafted our own families though we are still the beams and support system for each other. It is the constant that hasn’t changed over the years.
It has never much mattered the actual size of our actual homes, the amount we had in the bank, or things like that. Our family’s success has come in the form of loyalty, abundant love and support. Sometimes, help came in the form of money. But sometimes, it came in just being there, listening, coming over and putting a supportive arm over a wounded shoulder.
Families come in all shapes, sizes, and variances. Though any family can be constructed, one brick, one board, one wall at a time. And in that family unit, its members will find greater wealth than anyone could conceive of.