Thursday Thirteen – My Family

I am a very family orientated person. I live within an hour of all the people I’m about to tell you about, and I see most of them at least once a week. What I wanted to do for my second Thursday Thirteen post, was to describe traits that each of my family members possess, and why I admire them for it. This is not to say that they are without flaws, but I think that we should always be looking for the best in people. It is also not to say that they don’t possess other admirable traits, just that I have chosen one to focus on!

So, without further ado, here’s my Thursday Thirteen:

  1. Youngest Son – Imaginative – YS is one of these children who has a vivid imagination, meaning that hours can be spent with the most rudimentary of playthings. He will create worlds, stories and eras up in his bedroom or out in the garden. Blankets become dragon wings. Brooms become valiant steeds. Brightly coloured scarves become panoramic landscapes. His mind knows no bounds and he is content to follow where his imagination carries him.
  2. Eldest Son – Generous – I don’t know whether it’s because he’s the middle child, but ES is quite possibly one of the most generous kids I have ever come across. He would gladly give you anything he had, even if it meant that he would have to go without. Small children instantly realise this, and they flock to him, wanting to hold his hand or have him tie their shoe laces. His generosity comes from a place of abundance; it is as if it is easy for him to be generous as he know there will always be more.
  3. Daughter – Thoughtfulness – Often I will go to bed and I will find a small note from D and a small gift, like a strawberry from the garden or a friendship bracelet, waiting for me on my pillow. She recognises that the small things matter. She picks up on other’s unhappiness/ illness/ tiredness and she looks to make things better. By leaving these small surprises for her parents and siblings, she tells us that she loves us and cares about our well-being. She makes others feel looked after.
  4. Husband – Supportiveness – I am currently engaged in completing the third of my university degrees, and throughout the inevitable trials and tribulations that have accompanied my journey through higher education, he has always been there giving whatever kind of support I needed. He gives me the time and space I need to study, the money I needed to pay my fees, and he gave me pep talks when I felt I couldn’t go on any more. And it’s not just me he supports; he supports our children, as well as his numerous students both at college and through his tutoring. Our successes are his successes, as they could not have been accomplished without him.
  5. Brother – Risk Taking – Ever since we were little, B was always so much braver than I was, and this has continued to be the case as we’ve grown up. He is not afraid to take a risk as he is sure that he will land on his feet. His optimism coupled with his bravery have led him to take many calculated risks over the years, which have resulted in success at a young age. I look at what he has made, and what he is making, of his life so far with pride and awe.
  6. Sister-in-Law – Assertiveness – I think S-in-L is one of the strongest women I have ever come across, and yet this strength, this assertiveness, certainly doesn’t come off as abrasiveness! She won’t allow anyone to take advantage of her and her own, and she won’t stand for inferior service. She has a very strong sense of right and wrong, and will always fight for a fair deal. She is just beginning her studies to become a social worker, and I can’t think of a better person to champion the rights of others!
  7. Niece – Willingness to Laugh – I have already posted about some of the traits that babies have that I believe we can all learn from, but I would like to attribute this one specifically to N, as she seems to possess it in abundance. She laughs a lot! Even in between mouthfuls of her dinner, she is giving great, big, gummy grins. She has such a capacity for joy that she can’t help but inspire joy in all around her. Such fun to be around!
  8. Mum – Creativity – My mum makes the most wonderful artist’s books. You can see some of them at her flickr page. Her experimentations with different media, her willingness to learn technique from others, and her seemingly innate understanding of aesthetics are truly impressive. However, despite her obvious talent, she is also modest and accepting of praise with both grace and humility. Her creativity not only inspires her to create, but through her, it rouses the desire in others to create also.
  9. Dad – Curiousity – I don’t think I know anyone more curious about life, the universe and everything, than my dad. He has a blog called Heroes Not Zombies in which he posts about his latest discoveries, and any new developments in his understanding of the world he lives in. Whenever I speak to him, he has found out something new, or he has developed a new interest. Being around him, I am constantly enthused about learning, and inspired to look at the world afresh.
  10. Grandma – Values Friendship – Very few people have managed to retain friends for the length of time that my grandmother has, and if they have, they probably don’t see them as regularly as she does. Four times a week, she meets up with the same group of women, and has done for the last 40 years. They share laughs, tears, knitting errors and countless cups of coffee, and I so admire her investment in these friendships.
  11. Grandad – Nurturing – I have posted many photographs from my grandfather’s garden, which you can see here and here. All my life, I have associated my grandad with his garden; whenever we came around to visit, Grandad would be out in the garden, planting seeds, threading seedlings, weeding the flower beds and caring for the tomatoes in his green house. His dedication to his ‘bit of earth’ is absolute, and his determination to nurture the growth of his plants is extremely inspiring.
  12. Gran – Affection – Gran always shows her family a huge amount of affection. She worries for us as we explore all life has to offer us, but when we come home again, we are always greeted with a lovely big hug. She is always thinking of us: phoning us when there’s a TV programme that would interest us, clipping articles out of newspapers, making contacts. Her home is always welcoming.
  13. Grandpa – Dedication – About nine years ago, my gran had a major heart-attack, from which she has never fully recovered. I so admire the way my grandpa looks after her. Even though they’ve been married for over fifty years, there is still so much love there. His tireless dedication to Gran has been unwavering. He once described Gran to me as being like a hothouse orchid, and I just thought that, despite all my literary research, that was the most beautiful, poignant simile I had ever come across.

So, there we are – that’s my family. As I said at the start, it is certainly not the case that we are a family of superior, perfect beings, but I have focussed on, what I see as, some of their best traits. In all areas of my life, I make it a point to appreciate the best in people, as I hope others do the same for me.

OK, over to you – what are the traits in your nearest and dearest that you admire most?

Happy Thursday Thirteen!

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September 20, 2007. Inspiration.

37 Comments

  1. Hootin' Anni replied:

    Wow!! A very impressive list for the week!!
    Thanks for the visit.

  2. jennifer replied:

    Awesome post!! You have some pretty great people around you. and you got me to thinking about what I would say about my family.

    my 13 is up on

    http://momworksathome.blogspot.com

  3. amypalko replied:

    I’m glad you like it, Hootin’ Annie!

    I like to think they’re pretty great, Jennifer! I’m pleased that the post has got you thinking of your own family, as that was my intention with this list.
    I’ll check out your TT directly!

  4. Yen replied:

    I’m totally impressed with your list this week! Thanks for sharing this to all of us! You seem a very nice person:) Hope to get to know you better through this!

    Have a blessed day! Mine is up if you have a chance!;)

    http://yennygirl.com/?p=838

  5. amypalko replied:

    Thanks, Yen, for your lovely compliment! Quite a few people close to me have said that they believe this blog reflects the person they know me to be, so if you have a browse, you probably will get to know me better. I will absolutely check your TT post out!
    Have a great TT!

  6. CandyQ replied:

    I’m very family-oriented, too so I love your list. I believe in appreciating the people we love and letting them know about it. I’ll probably do this list soon. God bless! :o)

  7. amypalko replied:

    Thanks, Candy. Definitely let me know when you post your list up!

  8. No Nonsense replied:

    I love the way you descrice your family. They seem like such a good gang.

    Thanks for sharing with us!!! and thanks for your comment that reassured me that I am indeed not alone in forgetting things :)

    Happy TT!

  9. amypalko replied:

    Thanks, No Nonsense. Oh, and you are very welcome for the reassurance!

  10. marnini replied:

    What a beautiful Tribute to your family.
    My son who is the middle child is also very imaginative. I have always said watching him play is one of the best sites I have ever seen
    My daughter the first born is also very generous. She would give her shirt to a child if she knew they didn’t have one.
    My second daughter is sweet and very loveable but a force to be reckoned with.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog

  11. Wolfie replied:

    Hello,
    I enjoyed reading ur post…its an interesting way to share about ur family…
    Thanks for sharing…

  12. Chelle Y. replied:

    This is a great list! It is obvious that you that you are blessed too! :)

  13. amypalko replied:

    Thank you, Marnini. I’m glad you liked the post. And, thank you too for participating and telling us about the admirable traits in your family!

    I’m so pleased that you liked the post, Wolfie!

    What a lovely compliment, Chelle! Thank you!

  14. Ellen replied:

    What a wonderful tribute to your family. How nice to have both sets of grandparents still alive…
    Blessings…

  15. amypalko replied:

    Thanks, Ellen. I’m so glad you liked it! I feel extremely fortunate to still have all four of my grandparents around, and my children so enjoy visiting with the great-grandparents!

  16. Dawn replied:

    That is such a wonderful portrait of your family, and a great way to honour their character. Thanks for visiting.

  17. amypalko replied:

    You’re very welcome, Dawn! I’m glad you liked the post.

  18. Celticangel replied:

    I like your list, amy. It’s very well thought out. It sounds like you have an interesting family. My Grandfather was also at one with his garden, and now so is my sister.

    HappyTT!

  19. amypalko replied:

    Thanks, Celticangel. It’s funny how these things are passed down in families. My grandad came from a long line of gardeners, and his daughters are all quite keen on their gardens too. I love the garden, but I must admit that I don’t do much work in it! I like taking photographs of it though…

  20. Autumn Song replied:

    What a beautiful post Amy. I’ll have to think about what to say about my family and do a similar post.

    Sadly, I’ve just lost my last remaining grandparent. It’s very strange to realise that. I’m so glad for you and your children that you all get to spend time together. Mixing generations.

    Looking for the good in everyone- I try to do that too. I’m not sure I’ll be quite so eloquent though.

  21. J. Lynne replied:

    What a thoughtful list! Happy TT!

  22. amypalko replied:

    Thank you Autumn Song, and I am extremely sorry that you have lost your grandparent. Hugs and kisses from me!

    I have to admit, J. Lynne, that I do put a lot of thought in my TT posts, but that the wonderful feedback that I get from my readers and the TT community make it all worthwhile :-)

  23. TeaMouse replied:

    I think it’s a great idea to look at those we love and to acknowledge the positive – it’s so easy to only think about the negative. What a wonderful gift to think positively!

  24. amypalko replied:

    I so agree with you, Teamouse! It is so easy to fall into the trap of negativity, but I feel that as long as I’m aware of that, I can determine to think positively.

  25. Xakara replied:

    Thanks for coming by my blog, it made sure I didn’t forget to come by yours, and I’m so glad I didn’t miss it!

    You’re family sounds wonderful, especially the children, what great traits to see in the people you’re helping come into themselves.

    You must be proud to know the kind of future adults you’ll be gracing the world with. :)

    Happy TT

    ~X

  26. amypalko replied:

    I’m glad you didn’t miss it too, Xakara! Thanks for coming by. And thank you, too, for such a lovely comment. It really is very much appreciated!

  27. cajunvegan replied:

    I miss my grandparents.

  28. Adrian Drake replied:

    Be thankful for family like this. When we lost my mom, we lost the hub of our familial wheel.

    Great list!

  29. Nyla replied:

    Hi. Thanks for visiting my site. I, too, am very family orientated though my work does not allow me to spend as much time with them as possible. Your list is a great reminder to us all that we should treasure our family and notice the traits in them that made them so special. Great list!

  30. amypalko replied:

    I’m sorry about your grandparents, Cajunvegan. Thanks for stopping by, though.

    I am extremely grateful for my family, Adrian, which was what I wanted to convey in my TT post this week. I’m pleased you enjoyed it!

    I’m glad it had that effect, Nyla. It’s so easy to take those closest to you for granted, and I do try not to do so. Hopefully this post will act as a reminder to me too!

  31. Rambling Shan replied:

    What a great liat! I think it is important to think about what our family and friends can teach us and what we can admire them for. I also live close to most of my family, but we are not quite as close as it seems you all are,

  32. amypalko replied:

    Thanks, Rambling Shan! I like to think that we are a close family. We all enjoy spending time with each other, and there’s always someone around when you need a favour!

  33. Marcia (MeeAugraphie) replied:

    We should all do a similar post… if only to remind ourselves of the good. You are all blessed.

  34. amypalko replied:

    It’s important to focus on the good, isn’t it Marcia? That’s one of the reasons why I posted this list, and it’s also why I participate in the Only The Good project.

  35. Thursday Thirteen - New Habits « Lives Less Ordinary replied:

    [...] can find my other TT posts here and [...]

  36. Thursday Thirteen - My Passions « Lives Less Ordinary replied:

    [...] – Regular readers of this blog will know that I have a fairly large extended family, as I have written of them before for Thursday Thirteen. I’m pretty convinced that they are a really special bunch of people, and I feel so [...]

  37. radha replied:

    If we would see only the positive aspects of the people things would work a lot smoother and based on peace plus genuine evolution from inside. Pls see this short article i posted here http://nirmalamagazine.wordpress.com/2008/03/04/the-main-secret-for-an-infallible-marriage/ last day ,

    thanks for this wonderful post

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