Justin Blowers

Maybe it’s because my parents did a good job of raising me.

Maybe it’s because I was raised in the South.

Maybe it’s because I’m an old soul.

Whatever the reason is, family is something that stays important to me in my life.

I have two little brothers who are both in high school now. I either talk or text them every morning to have a good day at school. I call or text them at night to see how their day was.

They’re both active in various organizations at the school so that conversation tends to be a little later in the night but it’s still every day.

Naturally, when I talk to them, I talk to my mom, too.

That’s how much family means to me. I talk to my family normally twice a day Monday-Friday even though I’m in Enterprise and they’re about three or four hours away. So when I say family means something to me, you know that I’m not just out here blowing hot air.

When I get a break or a rare day off, I enjoy going and seeing my family. I love playing video games with my little brothers, shooting bows with them even though they’re both on the archery team, helping work with the animals, enjoying a meal together and naturally just being a family.

One of the things I miss most though, is the ambient noise of my little brothers running around the house. Whether that be them arguing, yelling at a video game, asking mom for food, talking trash to each other, etc.

It gives me that nice fuzzy feeling inside.

I say all of that to say this, I got that same feeling this weekend. Was I with my family? Yes. Was I with my mom and little brothers? No.

This weekend I had some close friends come down and crash at the apartment for a couple days. It had been a while since I’ve seen them so catching up was great. Having lunch and dinner together was great. Just chilling was awesome.

It was a nice mental and emotional reset that I didn’t know I needed. However, it was when we weren’t actively hanging out that made me really understand how much I enjoyed them around.

The ambient noise of hearing them talking to each other or talking to my roommate or shuffling around or getting drinks out of the fridge, etc., gave me that same fuzzy feeling. That feeling of content. That feeling of belonging. That feeling of family.

You see, family doesn’t have to be family.

They don’t have to be blood related to be your family. You don’t need to live under the same roof or the same city to be family. You just have to know they’re family and then they’re family. I know that’s a weird statement, but it’s the best description I have for it. It’s something that come some point, you’ll just know. Deep down in your gut, in your soul, you’ll just know. That realization will probably come from a moment like mine, though mine was more of a second realization.

I always referred to my roommate and group of college friends as my Troy family to mom and my little brothers, but last weekend really drove home the fact they’re not my Troy family, they’re just family.

I’d like to turn my attention to another family that was shown off this weekend. Daleville High School and Elba High School’s drum lines played a cadence together. They didn’t miss a beat either.

Those drummers may not go to the same school, live in the same city or even be related by blood but they’re family through music. They’re all on the drum line. They learn the same basic techniques, practice in the heat and play their hearts out at every game. They’re family connected through music.

Family doesn’t have to be family.

Now I challenge you to look and find your family. You may already know who your family is, you may realize a new member has been added, you may have no idea who your family is. However, that’s why we search. Know your family and understand who they are.

Family is important.

Justin Blowers is a staff writer for The Southeast Sun and Daleville Sun-Courier. The opinions of this writer are his own and not the opinion of the paper. He can be reached at (334) 393-2969 or by email at sjblowers@southeastsun.com.

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