From The World Of Parks & Recreation
By Doug Comer
Family is a term that does not necessarily mean a blood relative. It could be a long-time friend, a close co-worker or someone you do not see on a regular basis, but you seem to start right off where you left off the last time you were together. The holiday season is the most apt time to make those connections of old.
We often use terms like “brothers” or “sisters” to describe those close connections you have. They are an extension of your family. I can see this now with my son. For instance, he has a close knit group of buddies he hangs out with and they do their normal ornery teenage antics. But, I would be a hypocrite to criticize some of the goofball things that they do. I am not saying they do things teetering on criminal investigation, they just do things that almost all of us did when bored at that age. He has his band of brothers.
Every year, I am privileged to go on a golf trip to Innisbrook Resort in Tampa Florida and it is what I call my “end of season excursion.” We have a motley crew of guys from all parts of the USA. From Boston, Dallas, Cincinnati and Florida, we all gather for a few days of golf and to play catch-up over the last 11 months. They are my golfing buddies whom I consider brothers as well.
Doug Reed and Greg Knight, friends that I have known for decades, are two of the extension of my family. We were roommates in college as well teammates in sports. Distance is the only negative tangible about our relationships. And while our golf games differ, our stories we share and the boasting about our kids are very similar. They will be life-long family.
And what is great about the extension of family members is the sincerity in asking how your parents are. A friend of mine once pinned my family as the “Seaver’s” on the sit-com Growing Pains. I really cannot think of anyone that has been to my parent’s house that they did not like. Both welcome all visitors; there is always some connection through either my friend’s parents or relative. It is equivalent to a 6-degrees of Kevin Bacon game.
And, even to this day, the door is always open at my parent’s home. Figuratively, that is. They keep it tighter than Fort Knox. In fact, it is almost like the opening of Get Smart where Don Adams has to go through the numerous obstacles in order to reach his destination. I love to give them a hard time, and it’s all out of love. I am truly blessed.
I know we are all busy this time of year. Where it is now known as the season for giving, and the spare bedroom is filled with boxes that need to be wrapped and labeled before the 25th, but do yourself a favor and scroll down the list of names and find that one person you have not spoken to in a while and call them and catch up. They may not be your blood family, but in the heart, they are still an extension of your family.
Happy Holidays and safe journeys.