I’m a family person at heart. I’ve always been close to my parents, pretty much always got along with my brother, and always looked forward to my single yearly visit to my extended family. It’s true, some of them are a bunch of nuts, but they’re my family. They’re mine. And I love them dearly.
I’m a Shallahamer and a Yukie and a Carden. Each group is about as different from each other as possible, and even members of the same group can vary as widely as… well, as widely as members from any family can vary. My brother and I, for example, are about as similar as pine cones and pineapples. But we share a name, a history, and blood. You mock him in my presence to your peril.
I have another name too: Christian. Like the Yukies and the Shallahamers, each house where my family gathers can be quite different. Some of them don’t like each other much. I don’t always like all of them much. But we share a name, a history, and have been covered by the same blood. They are as much my family as the Shallahamers, Yukies, and Cardens.
As in any family, there are some members I speak of with an almost hopeless tone. There are those I resent sometimes for dragging my family name through the mud. However, I am no more worthy to bear the name than anyone else. I will wear it proudly, even when I want to sink my head in shame for some of my brothers’ and sisters’ antics, remembering the head of my proud house, and all that He gave so that I could call Him “Father.”