There are a lot of institutions is the world. There is the institution of marriage, the institute of religion. There are also government institutions and many, many more. None of these institutes compare to that family institute.
The family will always be there to help you through whatever life's struggles brings to you. Through thick and thin you can always count on your family to be there for any kind of support that you need.
I was blessed to be in a family that had very supportive parents and loving brothers. Our family was more of a nuclear family than the extended family. Though we had extended members of our family on both sides we truly did depend on the five members of our immediate family.
Our family, despite not having a lot of money, always found ways to go out and have fun. We typically would take a day trip somewhere. Living in Arkansas we could either take Highway 7 North and go to the Buffalo River or South and go to Hot Springs. If we went to Hot Springs we would typically go to the Mid-America Museum or go to Magic Springs. Because my parents believed that history was the most important part of our lives we always took time out to walk down Bathhouse Row to soak up the history there.
One Spring Break we all piled into my dad's car and headed for South Padre Island. It was a very uncomfortable ride but it was an enjoyable one. We stopped for the night at North Padre Island where one of mom's best friends lived. That night I had my first taste of crawfish (I found out that I am not a huge fan of it) my brother Will got sick and we bedded down for the night. We got up the next morning and drove to South Padre Island. We got there some time after noon, spent a few hours and mom was ready to go home. So, we loaded back into my dad's small car and drove the rest of the day and all night to get home. It was not the greatest trip in the world but we were family and I had a blast. A few years later, Will and I made our own trip to South Padre and that was perhaps the best time I have ever had with him.
Will is my younger brother and very early on in our life together (he was born a year and 15 days after me) he discovered that he could push my buttons with ease. For most of our lives he was able to push my buttons and it irritated me to no end. My mom would always tell me that I had to ignore him or laugh at him in order to get him to stop. Over the years I have been able to get used to his button pushing. It really does not bother me anymore, but my mom was wrong on one point. I can deflect his button pushing with an almost ease these days but he has not stopped and does not appear to be slowing down.
One thing about it, though, as much as he has gotten on my case and annoyed me over the years I would not trade him for anything. I will always be the first to defend him on everything. There is an old saying and I am pretty sure that I will not get it right but basically it goes (for all I know I am making it up) "You can say whatever you want about me but do not ever say anything about my family."
I love every member of my family as everyone should with their families. It is truly the greatest institution there is.