The heritage of the family. Or, as Blaise Paschal would say, the heart of the family.
I have often written of this heritage as ‘strength’. That ability to cope, to keep going, to persevere. The heritage of strength. To never give up and, rightly or wrongly, to stick to being themselves, my family, with their agency and decision-making, both individualistic and collective.
Present, too, in my family, has been the strength to know when to cut your losses and make a change.
So, strength has been a theme, a thread, in the heritage of the family.
But I think there is more. To be honest, when I think of family love and family battles, of parties fading to fights, of solidarity and connectedness, I think of family itself. I realize that the heritage is more than a character trait or a story weaving its way through our lives, a tradition that keeps on being traditional. No, to reduce the family heritage to such simplicity is to do the heritage injustice. Because, ultimately, the heritage of our family is ‘family’ itself.
The ties that wind and bind, with love and sometimes dislike, inexplicably wrap us together as family. We pass on the intensity of the experience to our children. They, too, come to know family as a heritage that one can never quite escape.
And, surprisingly, we come to understand that the heritage of family is something you do not want to escape. It is you, your heritage. It is in all the good and all the bad. It is both the utopia and the dystopia.
It, family, is there in the books and movies and music and quotes. The shared memories of childhood. The standing together against all odds, even in the busyness of life and the rare opportunity to gather as family.
We know life because of family.
This is our heritage.