The Letter F

Thousands if not millions of words start with the letter F. They have different meanings, different ways of saying. And, out of all the words that we know of in the human language, one is by far the most important to me, and the one thing the mafia got right. FAMILY comes first. Watching all the Godfather movies this is one of the biggest themes.  Of course, there were many other things that I got out of those movies, but that one word seemed to resonate with me the most. Whatever they did, the family was always the number one priority. Even though they had differences of opinions most of the time, they didn’t go against each other. Well, until they screwed up badly. Thanks, Frado.

As I age and hopefully grow a little wiser, I understand what that means more and more. It might not be your immediate family, however, the people who you would do anything for, and they would do the same, having yours and their best interest at heart, that’s what I call family. There’s much more that goes into it, but on the surface, I find that seems like a reasonable definition/phrase.

I was lucky enough, and still am to have a very close-knit family. Of course, when I was younger I took that for granted more times than I can count. They did more for me than I ever thought possible. Growing up they taught me right from wrong and I did as I was told most of the time. However, they also weren’t as strict as other parents and let me independently figure out things on my own. Looking back now, I think that has helped me the most. Figuring out things on my own and either seeing the benefits from it or dealing with the mistakes and hardships.

I know they say they weren’t perfect. It took a lot of work to get where they were when they were my age. With that, I have tremendous respect for them. And like any relationship, it’s never going to be perfect or how you picture it. They’re going to be arguments between sisters and brothers and fathers and mothers.

I look up to them more now than any other time in my life. One, the PCT. Hiking makes you think, a lot, and all that thinking gave me a very strong appreciation for everything my parents and sisters have done for me. Whether it was the move to New Hampshire, letting me move out to Philly or going out in the wilderness to hike for two and a half months. Even though at the time, to say it lightly, I wasn’t very fond of New Hampshire. Knowing what I know now, is more important than staying where we were and eventually figuring it out at this time in my life.

Life kicks you in the ass sometimes and it doesn’t feel good, especially if it’s a repeating kick like the PCT. Going on that trip was much more than the goal of making it to Canada, for me at least. The small things, family, and getting to know yourself were only a few of the many highlights and life lessons I encountered over that time span.

I still continue to learn and become inspired by them every day. With the laughs and the lectures and advice, there’s always something to take out of it. I look up to them and both of my sisters. They’re my family and I wouldn’t ask for a more sarcastic one.

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