“Families have been described according to blood tiesand legal ties, as networks of persons who live togetherover periods of time supporting each other, and asgroups of people who have ties of marriage andkinship to one another” (Galvin, Bylund, Brommel, p.4).
To most people my familywould be consideredblended, although I don’treally see it like that. It’stechnically “blended”because my brother isactually my half brother,from my father’s previousmarriage, but I’ve always seenhim as simply my brother.
Cohesive – Family members strive for emotional closeness,loyalty, and togetherness with emphasis on some individuality.In my family, we can talk about anything, yet we tend not to,even though we know we can. We’re a close family, but some ofus keep more to ourselves when it comes to serious topics.Recently my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, whichhas put this weird feeling among the family. My mom has noproblem talking about it. My dad hasn’t said a word to me aboutit, my sister and I pretend it’s not happening, and my brothertries to be the supporter. We all have different levels of whatwe’re comfortable with discussing. I talk more about it with myfriends, even though I know my families there.
My families image would be a dog. A dog symbolizes,“a mans best friend.” You can always rely on your dog,and I can always rely on my family. No matter what thesituation, we’re all there for each other in differentways. Pictured below is me with our two dogs, Cometand Clover.
When I was younger, wewould go to the coast andbeach every year and go onvacation at least once a year.A big tradition is theholidays. Thanksgiving andChristmas day are always atmy house and the wholefamily comes over. OnChristmas Eve we go toGrandma’s, Pepere’s, andMemere’s – same order,same time, every year.
Humor is a huge part of my family.My brother and I are thecomedians, although everyone hasa great sense of humor. Our mostmemorable moments are when wesit at the dinner table and sharehilarious things that happened tous that day. The day after we heardmom has breast cancer, we startedmaking jokes. It’s our way ofcoping, trying not to think abouthow serious it really is. Over theyears I’ve kept a Gagnon familyquote book, filling it with funnythings that happened/were said,so we can always remember them.
Dad – provides main income,does outside chores. More apt toshare feelings with Matt, thanRach or I. Go to him for advice onbig purchases, such as cars. Mom – Second source of income. Cooks and cleans, takes care of pets during the day. The one you get advice from about every day things. Knows about our social lives and what we’re up to. Has the most power in the house. Makes most decisions, but discusses it with dad depending on how big it is. Usually wins fights.
Matt – Brother/son. The oldest. The big shot, verysuccessful, favored among our grandmother. The comforteramong the siblings. Puts dad in his place when need be.Rachel – Sister/daughter. Second oldest. Getting a degreein Library Sciences. Very level headed, the smart one,responsible. I’m more apt to tell her things because we’recloser in age and Matt lives in Texas.Me – Sister/daughter. Youngest. I’m the spoiled one,the one who got away with the most. I’m more apt tospeak up to my parents than Rachel. The sarcastic one.Family photographer/historian
According to Hochschild’s marital ideology role types, my parents would be considered transitional. “The transitional husband and wife see the wife’s identity as the provider. The wife identifies with home management as a role, although she also wishes to identify with her work. Transitional husbands don’t mind that their wives work, but also expect them to take most of the home responsibility” (Galvin, Bylund, Brommel, p.171). My father is the main provider in my house. My mother works at home with her own business on Ebay. When my siblings and I were babies, my mother would stay home with us all day and work nights when my father got home.
I define family as the group of people in your life that love you unconditionally no matter what and who are always there for you. To me, family doesn’t have to be blood related. My friends are just as easily a part of my family as much as say, my sister. Family is what/who you want it to be.
Galvin, K.M., Bylund, C.L., & Brommel, B.J. (2012). Family Communication and Change. Indianapolis: Allyn and Bacon.