Blood or Water?: “The Foli Shoe”

         Dia de los Pichardos in Dominican Republic! (And this is only 60% of the family...)

         Dia de los Pichardos in Dominican Republic! (And this is only 60% of the family...)

Last week, I had the privilege of spending time with my mother’s side of the family in the Dominican Republic! We have a family reunion each year, known as “Dia de Los Pichardos” (Day of the Pichardos). Words cannot describe how amazing it was to listen to the wise words of my aunts and uncles (there are 9 of them by the way!), and to spend time with cousins and friends. I’d like to share with you some of the life lessons I hold close to my heart from this trip. As you read, think about what your actions say about what family means to you. Are they blood (irreplaceable, priority) or are they water (replaceable, secondary)?"

[Note: Family looks different for everyone. They can be immediate relatives or your closest friends if you don’t have blood relatives close by or alive.] 

  1. Never take family for granted: It’s so easy to get busy, live thousands of miles away, and lose touch with family. But no matter how busy we become, we should make time for those we care about and those that care about us. Make it a priority to give your loved ones time and attention.
  2. They are my Day Ones: Our friends, colleagues, money, jobs, and all of the above will come and go as we grow older, move away, step into careers, or start our own families. However, our families have been there from day one and will continue to be there till the end. When everything else fades away or we are left we nothing, family remains. 

  3. Fighting is normal and healthy: Some people hate conflict. But healthy conflict is good and essential for growth. If you don’t fight from time to time, you won’t learn to handle each other’s differences and what makes each of you unique.

  4. They’ve got your back: Even when we fight, yell at each other, or just don’t talk for days, family has your back no matter what! I know my sisters would do anything - no matter how upset they are with me - to make sure I’m well! You can count on family.

  5. They hurt when you hurt: Sometimes we have all the right intention when we go MIA and try to keep our family out of our issues. But believe it or not, when we leave them out, we hurt them in the process. They want to help, and sometimes being there for you is their best way of demonstrating that - especially if they are many miles away. As hard as it may be not to isolate yourself, remember that your isolation can (and often will) hurt your family in the process.

  6. Be selfless: I know this can be tough because it’s hard to put other’s needs before our own. However, it important to show loved ones that you care and love them by putting their needs before yours from time to time. So, if your mom wants to go to a movie that you don’t want to see, just say yes! One time in a blue moon isn’t going to kill you. What she's probably really saying is, “I want quality time with you.” Do it to show you care!

  7. Always forgive; don’t hold a grudge: Forgive because it’s for your own well being. Holding a grudge or an incident over someone’s head isn’t worth your peace of mind and your chance at moving forward in your relationship with loved ones and others. If it’s very serious, talk it through and set ground rules/boundaries. But whatever you do, forgive and move on.

  8. Never hold back your love: No matter what time of the day it is, never hold back from saying “I love you,” giving a hug, a kiss, or sending a text to check in. Every day isn’t promised, but you have the present - right now - which is promised to you. And while you’re loved ones are around in your present, give them as much love as you can. You don’t want to look back one day and wish you had done more.

I could go on and on with lessons, but I figured I should save some to continue to write my entries and stories ;) More to come next week! For now, enjoy the pictures from DR!!!

Each post is named after a pair of "fictitious" (for now) shoes. For this post, I chose the name "Foli," which means “there is strength in the family.”