Family and Friends OR Friends vs. Family?

From Great great grandpa and grandma, down the branches to my children's children.....and on and on....
From Great great grandpa and grandma, down the branches to my children's children.....and on and on....

How Strong is your Family Bond?

Perhaps a better way to ask this question would be, "Do you have a family bond?" Sadly, there are far too many people who might be able to put the subject of family bond to rest before it begins. Perhaps they would respond with a question of their own, "What family bond?" Even more pathetic they may ask, "What family?"

It will come as no huge surprise to most that there are just as many families who are quite disconnected from one another in adulthood, as there are those families that are extremely tight with one another and bonded for life. This reality has more explanations, reasons and causes than there are stars in the sky on a clear summer night......but some of them are not quite as beautiful or shining as those stars. Whether we love, like, tolerate or hate each other, when you are family, these emotions take on whole new meanings than when in reference to individuals unrelated by DNA.

The All-American traditional, functional, happy and healthy Family unit exists in our imaginations. Let's get that straight right off the bat. This is not a cynical comment but merely a sensible and rational statement of fact. Families after all, consist of real, live, imperfect and fallible mortals. Hopefully we can agree perfection does not appear anywhere in a family album.

A very long list of other wonderful and priceless gifts however, do appear in our family portrait. Whatever our own personal view is of family....our family as a whole, as well as each member of our family, it is a view and an attitude that grew over time via nature and nurture.

If we were fortunate to receive the love and protection, guidance and direction from responsible and caring parents, we were also exposed to the lessons so vital to a good and decent life. We were allowed to feel safe, accepted and important. Our bonds to one another strengthened continuously and relationships with siblings flourished. This is as close to perfect as we can hope to have. This is in fact, ideal.

Needless to say, this ideal family picture does not appear in all family albums. Sadly, all too often it is quite the contrary. This is just the way it is, all over the world.

Sibling Love and Rivalry

Our siblings are our very first friends....our playmates.....our idols for awhile. Depending on the years that follow as we share our mutual space and thrive in the environment of our home life, our future connection will be determined.

For some of us, a sister or brother becomes our lifelong best friend. This was the case for my sister and I. Tragically, we lost her to cancer. Every single day since that devastating loss, I ache from missing her. I am sincerely pained when I meet women who have little or no connection to their own sister(s). I simply cannot understand how this happens....or how they can allow it to happen. To me, this is an egregious void in one's life.

Since we're all different and come from any number of various backgrounds, these are just facts of life we need to try to understand. Often, a separation of family members is justifiable, albeit, sad.

For these individuals who are distant from their birth family, they reach out to people around them as friends and attempt to form solid relationships with them to create the kind of bond that humans instinctively need. Friendships can and do grow to become an integral part of our life.

Good friends, fun friends, helpful friends BEST friends

If you've entered the third or fourth decade of life and have managed to maintain a childhood friendship, this can say a whole lot of good things about both of you. For starters, not only would it be clear that you genuinely like one another but it would be safe to say you are loyal and dedicated individuals. We often see these long term friendships, that remain through thick and thin for years, as being like family. For more than just a few people, their friends are their family. These friendships are to say the least very special and easily treasured.

"I love her like a sister," and "He's the brother I never had," are two of the numerous comments made in reference to a good friend. Of course, this is a great compliment when it comes from someone who is strongly family-motivated and holds the concept of family in high regard.

Many of us have this sort of friend, but there are many kinds. There's a place in our life for casual friends, co-worker friends, former class-mate friends, neighbor friends, cyber friends and friends of a friend! Our circle of those we refer to as friends is as elaborate or as simple as we choose. Are you cautious and selective or do you make friends in a heart beat? What's nice is that it doesn't really matter our method of collecting friends. We are drawn to one another for any number of reasons. Sometimes these relationships come and go like ships in the night and other times, we drop anchor and float around together for years and years.

Regardless, as a rule there is little argument presented that human beings seek the company of others as sure as we breathe. Having friends contributes enormously to our health, happiness, and peace of mind. Simply said, friends decorate lives, encourage and support each other and in general, make life more interesting. It is not an over-statement to say that we just don't know what we'd do without our friends.

Which is more important, Family or Friends?

This question may take you by surprise at first glance, or you may be ready to respond in an instant. Maybe there is no question to your opinion, in terms of how family and friends fall into rank. While the answer is a no-brainer for me, at the same time, I'm painfully aware that some of my very own good friends would choose friends to be more important; no doubt, no hesitation.

When relationships are close and have existed for a number of years, we get to know pretty much everything about one another, including the alleged deep, dark family secrets. Many more of us than not, have friends whose families have been shattered and seemingly irreparable for as long as we've known them. Despite how we may hurt for their situation, we need to understand that it is probably best for them.

Although I may be one of those with the knee jerk reaction to such a question and quick to insist, "family."..... I do remain open to numerous options and attitudes.

I believe we should take into consideration, individual situations, the length and type of friendships, as well as the twists and turns of one's family history. These two distinct groups of people in our life can easily be of equal importance to us, or perhaps vital in exclusive ways. Perhaps for some, there is no comparison, no contest....they firmly embrace one over the other. We can speculate on this forever. The picture of possibilities is clear.

There is surely no right or wrong answer here. There is your answer and those of millions of other individuals. We may need mere moments or lengthy periods of time to arrive at our own choice. But what becomes quite evident to us is that we can find ourselves coming to terms with harsh realities and sensitive issues. Hopefully, we do not omit the rational and organized thought process of common sense.

When all is said and done, can we not agree that family and friends make up profound and valuable pieces of our life? We are grateful and feel fortunate for all the ways they've mattered and how we have touched the hearts of one another. Ultimately, we may come to the place where we ask the question; "What would I ever do without family and friends?"

Comments 75 comments

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Shan....Thanks for taking an interest. I can definitely relate to anyone who feels strongly about family ties and friendship bonds. I shudder to think how very sad my life would be if I'd not had such an amazing and happy upbringing & attachment to my birth family.

Here I am the lone survivor and missing them so much. Yet the consolation for me is that for the years we had together and the love we had for one another was worth a lifetime. ....Glad you stopped by!

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 months ago from Texas

Just read your answer to Bill's challenge. This hub was at the bottom in the "more by this author" section. Caught my attention. Probably because I feel very strongly about family ties. It saddens me that it seems to be a lost art these days, though. I can't even say that many of my own family bonds are as strong as I'd like them to be. Maybe none of them are. A combination of circumstances and other factors. I would be quite bummed about not being able to make it home for a visit, except that I made up my mind not to be. I do so much better when I purposely decide not to let things get the best of me.

As for friends like family - if I say someone is like family to me, I mean it as a sign of my regard for that person. It's also a reference to my loyalty and commitment to that person. Those people are not only enjoyable to hang out with for fun, but they are also people I would sit and cry with if they needed me to and that I trust enough to be an open book with. Once I care that much, it's difficult to stop even if I know I probably should because one doesn't just stop loving a family member on a dime.

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 16 months ago from Orlando, FL

Plunking along here too :)

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 16 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Hello there Linda friend by sister by choice.....hope all is well. Things plunkin along usual.!

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 16 months ago from Orlando, FL

Stopping by to say hello to my SFAM! :)

swilliams profile image

swilliams 22 months ago from Arizona

What a beautiful Hub Paula! I loved how you shared your views in such a deep and delicate way. This portion really stood out to me.

'If we were fortunate to receive the love and protection, guidance and direction from responsible and caring parents, we were also exposed to the lessons so vital to a good and decent life.' Very Well Done!

Thank you for a very caring Hub!

Voted up! And Tweeted Out!

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

Great minds thinking alike again...I also tweeted it :)

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Hey BESTEST friend....You have some sort of radar or something, I swear. I haven't looked this hub over for a very long time......and for some reason, you just chose to read it and bring it to my attention.

I had forgotten that it yielded so MANY comments...and you're right, they're all so different. I find that so interesting and such an up close and personal study of human nature (all the wheels turning inside their heads.)

I got teary when I saw the nice long comment from dear sweet, departed DUSTY.....what a special man he was. I will treasure his comments always.

I think I should tweet this......Peace Babe!

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

I rarely, if ever pause and read the comments of a hub, but I read these comments for some reason. The responses and views all vary, very interesting. Way to go Effer!

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

I would agree, Annie. There was a whole lot my sister and I would overlook, with one another, so as to not bicker and argue foolishly.....but I would rarely take any nonsense from non-family.

My sister was older, so she always used the "respect your elders," bull.....and I would snap back, "Yeah, whatever, oh Great one!"....and we'd just wind up laughing at each other. I liked to remind her , she may have been older & smarter.....but I was bigger and crazy! LOL!!

wabash annie profile image

wabash annie 3 years ago from Colorado Front Range

Sometimes, I think that we cut family members more slack than we do our very good friends but both are very important to us. Thanks for writing on this topic and for a great hub.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Hi Midget!.....Well, said, my friend & Poet....There should be balance in all things, but most of all, in those individuals that surround our life and means so much to us. You are so right....

midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

I believe that both are important...we can share some things with our friends in a way we can't with our families and of course, our family is our foundation. So I guess a balance between both is my answer! Thanks for sharing!

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

I started out adulthood with a BOAT LOAD of friends.....and as I matured and wised up, a lot of them were thrown overboard without a life jacket...for good reason. I'm much happier and comfortable with a small circle of people I enjoy and can TRUST......

Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK

I do, I too have some 'just' friend types! I am fiercely loyal to my friends but have maybe only 6 or 7 close friends.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

It's so uniquely different for everyone, isn't it? As old as I get, I can't help but continue to be shocked and a little saddened, when I speak with individuals who were not blessed with a tight-knit family and to this day, are estranged. But, it is more common than I care to know...

That's the way it goes for some. I think it starts way back in family history, in terms of their dynamics and personal beliefs.....and then it simply goes on through each generation.

This goes both ways too. I know, in my own family situations, it has been at least a hundred years of massive family love, loyalty and strong bonds.....

I do have "friends," of course......but if something prevents me from loving them "like Family" and forming that type of relationship.....then they are in fact, "just" friends. Hard to explain, but I think you understand!!

Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK

Paula, what a thought provoking hub! I am luck to have 2 sisters, both of whom I love dearly although we are all very different as people - I am more close to one than the other to be honest but I still see both of them regularly. Blood is thicker than water! That's what my mother still always says to me and she's right I think though, like you, I have space in my heart for lots of friends too :o)

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

peeples...and....midget....Hello Hub "Friends".....Thanks for your feedback. The comments here are all so diverse, which I actually expected. It is not at all uncommon for people to feel vastly different from one another on this issue. It all depends on personal life experiences.....

midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

I think friends and family have different functions in society. Family is there as a permanent support system....and as Alecia says, not all friendships are lifelong and are the support that you need at different points on the path of life, though we might not know what these are. But whatever it is, both should be appreciated! Sharing!

peeples profile image

peeples 4 years ago from South Carolina

Being one of those who for the longest responded "what family?" It's not hard for me to say now that the family I have made is the most important aspect of my life and I could not imagine life without them.

Great Read!

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Hi Vinaya.......Do your friends call you, "Vinnie?" I understand your thoughts on this. I am blessed with wonderful family....all of them. This is rare, I know. No one is a "pain," and if one annoys the other, they work it out without causing a huge war. The bond is strong....and I can't say that we take each other for granted.......We give and take equally..

Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

There's a wonderful element of discovery about a relationship with a friend, which is missing with a kin whom you tend to take for granted. The truth is that relatives can sometimes be more of a pain. Friends are a pleasure.

But, as it is said, a coin has two faces. Friendship is a transitory feeling; it loses its clout in the course of time. The people who matter, whose advice and support we need in order to face life's realities, and who are always going to be around are our relatives.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

whowas...Hi! and thanks for the visit!! It is very true that some families are irreparable, or actually never had a chance to begin with, due to issues with neglect, abuse and at times, mental illness. However sad, in this case, people can feel isolated without a few close friends to depend on for love and support. Very often, friends can become our family of choice.

whowas 4 years ago

Very interesting hub and an increasingly important discussion in our ever-more fragmented society.

I've heard the terms 'biological family' and 'family of choice' being used these days.

Of course, for many unfortunate people the natural family is a fearful network of abuse and distress. For others, a place of security and nurture. Similarly, friendship groups can be healthy or unhealthy and the dynamics of interpersonal group relationships are complex enough to make anyone's head spin!

Thanks for an interesting read.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Thanks Docmo.....I appreciate your wonderful response. I feel for your doesn't get much easier, I'm sure...because we always love and miss our family. I do understand what you mean about things simply "not being the same." I can relate even more so to your silent shock that so many people we know, can be content never seeing or communicating or sharing any part of their life with family. At a younger age, I was truly disturbed by this, wondering to myself..."OMG, what's wrong with these people? How does this happen? She REALLY doesn't know if her sister is married or has children? This must be a joke!" I was so naïve. To not be closely bonded with your "original" family at LEAST...parents & siblings, seemed to me to be some sort of major sin, crime or disability!! Through the years, as I began to realize how common this is (sadly) I am no longer in shock, but I do see it as tragic.........I hope you and your wife and children DO take the trip once in a while to see your family???.........Bless you Docmo and Peace...

Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

I had the gut wrenching situation of leaving both my family AND my friends behind when I came to UK for higher studies and eventually found my calling here as a Doc. Much as I wrote, telephoned or visited my folk who were apart from me by a continent, it was never the same. Eventually I did make my own circle of friends and a family ... but the dissonance of not having those who you grew up with close by is still a pang. I am constantly surprised how little my own circle of friends see their family event hough they may live in the same town! To me a happy family gathering is one to be cherished and fostered, as much as a gathering of friends. One can't replace the other. A great write up, Paula.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Tammy........Thanks for stopping by, girl.....I always appreciate your engaging comments. Many families drift apart through the years, for one reason or another....I tend to believe that there are definite and valid reasons for this. Most often, it seems to be best that these families remain aloof toward one another to simply avoid unnecessary conflict. In these cases, really wonderful friendships develop to take the place of family and works out very well.

tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

This is a great question. I come from a very small family. We used to be very close but things tend to change when siblings and other relatives marry and the family landscape changes. Overall, I have friends that I am closer with, trust, can rely on, and enjoy more than most of my family members. There are just some things you can never discuss with family. Great hub that opens up a very interesting dialouge.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author are so right and have added a comment of wisdom. Thank you so much....I do believe in what you have said...Peace & friendship, Ruchira.

Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

Beautiful hub with loads of sentiments. I read this hub earlier but could not comment on it. Glad I came back to give my view :)

I feel no relation is important. It is just the clicking of two souls that matters and that is the trigger of a new friendship which could turn into family depending on circumstances.

Voted up as useful and sharing it across

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Sunnie.... Yes, I see you agree with Bruce too! His comment is very realistic and I believe this is what we have all experienced throughout our life. I understand your thoughts on this subject....sometimes we do get more support from friends. Peace!! I wish you continued love from and friends!!

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Cogerson...or should I say....Bruce....This comment is the BEST. You are 100% accurate with your explanation of Friends vs Family. What you say is true for all of us, I believe. We "take turns" with both groups....and ultimately, we end up with a well-rounded foundation of relationships, made up of both family and friends!! Thanks, as always for your visit and your special input!!

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Maria....Yes, I'm really pleased that this hub has got everyone hopping! Family and friends are, after all, the two most important groups in our life.....and everyone has their own individual opinion and have had their unique experiences with's fun to share these things...obviously.

Sunnie Day 4 years ago

I have to agree with Cogerson...we go through so many seasons where family is not as important as friends are but as we age, they become increasingly more important. Saying all that...when it comes to interests sometimes our friends show more support than family do...I am not sure why that is...I have spoke with many writers concerning this..our writing is more thought of "our thing and not theirs" lol Thanks for a great hub and I loved the comments which could be a hub in themselves.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

First of all great hub....Second of these are some pretty amazing comments that your hub has generated.....Third of opinion on the matter.....I think the friends/family question depends on your age.....granted this is just my view....but it seems .....your family is the most important when you are young.....and when you get more independent the friends take over that role......and then as you age and become regains that role as the most important element....obviously you have both during each phase but one always seems more important.

I remember one Mother's Day as a teenager.....I had just gotten a new girlfriend...and I was head over heels in sole existence was to think about I pretty much blew off Mother's Day......and boy did my father(correctly) let me know about it the next as an adult I can not even imagine pretty much ignoring my mother on Mother's Day.....but during that phase of my life friends were indeed more important than family.

Voted up and awesome.

marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA


What a conversation generating topic... I agree with so much of what has been said in these insightful comments...

I find that we tend to be so much harder on family than friends, acquaintances and strangers. I love my family and inwardly laugh at how different we all are in most ways.

Yet finding and keeping a core group of friends is like hand-shopping for the perfect jewels for your collection. Glad I found you, effer...even if you did steal my man Dusty right out from under me... (oops, that sounded so naughty...)

Voted UP and UABI. Love, Maria

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Well, what a sweet thing to say...I'm flattered. be careful, or I may adopt you and your wife as "family." Then you'll be sorry...LOL........

.All you have said is very true and quite profound, I might add. Some single parenting...some media and entertainment influence...but most of all...if all parents DID THEIR JOB, with dedication, love and consistency....and taught by example and RE-INFORCED.....awarded and disciplined as required......nothing else should be able to knock down that wall.........and friends? well, yes, they come and they go. It's simple to FIND friends....that's as easy as smiling and saying's deciding if it's worth your time and energy to nurture and maintain friendships......many are worth it, some are not. Thanks again......

quizbomb profile image

quizbomb 4 years ago from Lancashire, United Kingdom

That was a good read. Just admit it, you're a good writer :)- My wife even enjoyed reading that one so good job.

As to families and friends you're right, it's sad to know that the dysfunctional family is becoming the norm and why is this we all may ask? Some blame single parent families while other spout on about how movies and television are thwarting everyone's minds. I personally think those two explanations are a load of rubbish but I couldn't tell you what the reason is.

I will say that television and movies are to blame for painting the perfect family picture when the reality is quite different.

For the whole family or friends question I'll bring up the old saying "you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family". Then again in contrast to that little saying is the other "blood is thicker than water", meaning you may think your brother or sister is an idiot but you would probably jump in front of a bus if you thought it would save their life. Wow that's a little deep lol.

As to finding friends and keeping them I have a friend I've known since I was a teenager so thanks for the compliment in loyalty and what it says about that person. I do feel though that real friendships are harder to find these days and there are again as many reason for this I guess.

I will say that the ability to find good friends changes like the passing of time and I know I'm not making sense so let me explain. When you are a child finding friends is easy to do because life is uncomplicated and you're free from inhibition but as you get older it becomes harder because people have their own lives, goals and agenda.

With time, when you are a child one day feels like a week. However as you get older time is more fleeting and days just role into each other. It seems like it's so much harder to get everything done in a day.

I find friends and family are important but unfortunately life isn't always that sweet which is something that a lot of people have to deal with every day of their lives.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

MT....looks like you and I share an attitude and belief. I know it doesn't always work out this way for a lot of other families. This does have so much to do with a long list of factors. One that seems evident to me, is the history of the family dynamics from day one. Thanks for stopping by.....

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Dusty.....Heck, I was thinking of publishing our love letters and exposing our secret affair. !! I just can't keep it to myself any longer darling!

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Paul...What you say is very true. It is wonderful that you and your siblings have developed closer ties in more recent years. This something that all of you will treasure. Brothers and sisters share something beyond DNA, that in reality, cannot be replaced.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

toknowinfo....your comment is a perfect blend of wisdom, common sense, experience and understanding. Thank you so much for visiting and gracing us with your in put. Come again anytime!

toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 4 years ago

This is a wonderful and hub you wrote. I was saddened to read that you lost your sister. It is a void that can never be filled. As far as why people lose contact with their families, there are so many reasons, and many usually point to family dysfunction in one way or another. I think there are so many dynamics that go into relationships, especially family. It is wonderful to be able to have family and friends as a support network, and well rounded fulfilling relationships in our lives. And while it is wonderful to have both, it is more important that the relationships be healthy ones. Toxic family or toxic friends are not good for anyone, and it is important to see the truth about these relationships. So my feeling is, it doesn't matter who the DNA belongs to, it is important that we feel loved, cherished, and valued by the people we spend our time with.

carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

Family used to be where it was. However the years have brought some really disappointment and sadness. So we have some good friends that take the place.

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

My family members are my friends, so there is no way I could make that kind of choice. It does sadden me to see people who become estranged from their family members and friends. Sometimes I think they should try harder and talk it out. We do tend to expect perfection from others. Thank you for bringing up this important topic. Voted up.

50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 4 years ago from Arizona

Efpher, indeed I was jabbing your ribs, I feel that we are friends and liked you from the gate, and you had me at LOL, I promise not to tell that we don't email secret love letters behind the hubs, that just would be wrong!LMAO,

Peace and blessings


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Hi Paula! This is a great hub. I would have to say that both family and friends that I have known for a long time are equally important in my life. Since my parents have passed away, I have been closer to my brother and sisters, especially my second oldest sister whom I will be visiting next week. There have also been times when friends have been closer to me and more able to help than family members. Voted up and sharing.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author


Oh yes, same saying I heard from my family as a child....and as it turned out, it's very true with my family. I love my friends as well, but the "invisible" connection that's so instinctively strong, is not there except with family, for me.


It's great that you have a close friend and a sister you love and feel close to. For some reason, we women tend to need a connection or 2 like that, to get through the rough spots and dark places.....Think of the enormous Mental Health bill we'd have otherwise!!!...Thanks so mcu for stopping by and leaving such a thoughtful comment..

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Hello, Dusty! Wow, that's quite a story you so generously shared with me... Yes, I remember Eddy's Father.......that is William Bixby you speak of...he later played "the Hulk"...the guy with the anger problem..LOL!!

I'm happy for you that you took the attitude you did with your Dad and got to be good friends with him as an adult. Sounds like he was quite a guy....and you are too!

I'm kinda growing on you??? LMAO...Oh Dusty, you're so funny...thanks for the laugh.....I thought we already WERE friends??!!

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Nell.....I'm am sorry you lost your close friend, too. It's very difficult and a continual twinge in our heart when we lose someone we're so close to

I actually have several friends who have either horrendous relationships with family...or none at all. That really serves to make me realize how very blessed I was/am.....My sons, their families, my sister's children and their children...we're all terribly tight.....whether we see each other often or not....the love is there and we are always there for one another......Holidays are very special for us....Thanks Nell......Yes....we are friends across the pond!!

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author I loved Erma. Have couple of her hysterically funny books.

I don't know if I'd ever read that quote by her, but I like it. Thanks for stopping by. Always enjoy your comments..........Peace

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

Such an interesting and thought provoking hub fpherj48! I definitely think we need both, I know I do...I have a long term friend and a sister that I share almost everything with and I love them both equally but differently, and both hold a piece of my heart...thanks for writing a clear balanced look at the meaning of family...voted UABI, shared & tweeted...


Btw love that photo, so cute...

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

My family has a saying, "blood is thicker than water." To an extent, I believe this to be true. However, I have friends that are closer to me than some of my family. I think it is good to have both in your life. I love your description of family. I know that my family will always be there for me and care about my well being. It is a blessing.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Hello banks!! It's really a good thing to move away from "home" and all those we're close least for awhile, if not forever. It has a way of helping us to fly solo and get the feel of what the big world is like outside our little world. I lived away for a couple years, more than once. And I always knew when that need would surface, to get back home.

I never had a doubt that I wanted to raise my kids in the environment I was raised in....and now that I look back on that, I am amazed at how profound that was. My childhood must have been a whole lot better than I even realized. Know what I mean?? Thanks for stopping by, banks.

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fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Dzy....Hi there!....thanks for coming by to read my hub. I see you're on the same page about family and's really a personal thing. The weirdest thing I've experienced in recent years in my retreat into a life of near solitude, as far as "friends" are concerned, since my sister died. It's been 8 years and I still feel like I'm hanging in mid air without her. Crazy, but I sort of lost my "need" for a closeness with anyone anymore......must be something I need to work on, huh?

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fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Til....I sometimes imagine my heart like a little chart ....all neatly organized and labeled....."Friends," "Family," "Causes" "Passions" "Extra Special People"...."Departed Loved ones."....they all fit in there, so at least I'm assured I have a pretty BIG heart! lol.......

Whoever our attachments are with and however they fit into our lives, it's safe to say, we're grateful to have been blessed with all of them.

I do not want to even imagine what my life would be...who I would be, without every last person who has touched my life, in even the smallest way.......even the creeps and losers served their purpose!! LOL

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drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

A very thoughtful and meaningful dissertation, effer, on family vs. friends. I like this quote from Erma Bombeck about the meaning of a family: "... We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together."

Kinda definitive, isn't it. And so is your outstanding hub. Voted Up.

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Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi Paula, I am so sorry about your sister, it must have been so hard. I had a best friend for over 40 years who sadly past away a couple of years ago, still miss her like crazy. I totally agree with you that families should not fight for years on end and not see each other, if only they knew they won't get another chance, great hub as always, and you got a brit friend here too! lol!

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50 Caliber 4 years ago from Arizona

Ms.fpher, what an astounding hub topic, life for me has been so stranger than fiction, quite the Twilight Zone that has so many twists and turns it would take me a hub to explain it!

There are numerous folks that are dear to me and some down right important to me that came via cyber connection.

Before I forget it, I'm going to throw out my first thought as I began to read it was a series that seems to me if I had to bracket it 1972 to 75 area based on the time I had to bother with television "The Courtship and Eddy's Father" I sort of remember the premise and probably saw it from a hospital bed until I was fit to go back for another helping of hell. It was a kid and his dad, best friends and the lead was the guy who later was in a series where when he got pissed off he swelled up and ripped his clothes to shreds and amazingly his britches and fruit of the looms never blew out letting we willy out, LOL

(I had to put that in 'cuz that's the way my motor neurons run) anyway, it was a short lived experience in time for me, I only got to see it between deployments or while stationed in a rest area that had US television. It was really quite un conceivable to me that a father and son could be friends the way they were perceived by a room full of writers. It planted a seed in my head that laid in the corner until I finished going through the readjustment blues, booze, drugs and all that stuff. I had a deal with "I love you like a brother" guys, Marines, Semper fi and all that happy stuff and a pact between the three of us, they outed in 72 and I had got my dad to hook them up with jobs in a mine and an apartment that I paid a third of the rent until I got out every month to help have a place to go some 4 years later and that's about as far as I can go with out getting into explaining how these two bums screwed me over and enriched my life.

The series gave me an approach idea to befriend my father and to hell with the dad stuff, just become friends and enjoy what we held in common and him reaching a level where he could actually feed me sound advice and I would hear it and consider it and add, "what ifs" to the conversation and end up with solutions that worked. (Oh, by the by, I never knew my birth hole, she dropped off my little brother weened him and went out for a loaf of all the bank account, car, her clothes in the trunk plus more, and never came back) the old dude "Art the Fart" was left with two stinking rug rats and thanks to illegal immigrants known as "Braceros" Mi, Madre Ortiz took us when the miners like her husband and the old dude worked one of three shifts. The Mexicans typically have big families that stick together, so add my like aged sister and her little brother it was a 7 person interracial family and some how it all worked out and my dad stayed single we were Baptist they were Catholics, no problem, I learned English in school and Sonoran Spanish at one of the two houses next door. I learned to cook authentic Sonoran Mexican food.

I've gone on long enough to make a point that with willing folks there is little that keeps true love and respect from making a family out of any group of folks that come together and help carry the load. On my dads days off he took all 4 kids and gave Momma and Papa Ortiz time together. I have to say he was a trooper with a batch of curtain climbers and the terrible twos of two the same age 1 year apart. Seems crazy but I have to add my dad was 1 of 8 brothers and 4 sisters with an absent father who was a Pentecostal Preacher working in Tennessee cutting timber, sawing railroad ties and preaching on Sunday, sending the money home to Missouri in the Great Depression who got relief when my dad and 3 brothers went into WWII and sent their pay home to my Granny who cooked school lunches for $5.00 a week. I grew up on the rise from the ashes that brought America back to it's feet just like Mitt Romney is fixing to do a tough first four and a profitable 2nd term.

I need to write a few hubs 'cuz you just got a part of this old farts unconventional life, that by the grace of God Almighty has stood the test of pert near 65 years, thank you for winding me up.

Your kinda growing on me, wanna be friends?

Peace and Blessings and warm and well wishes,


bankscottage profile image

bankscottage 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Wonderful Hub, effer. I am so sorry about you losing your sister.

We have traveled a lot for my career. We were often distanced from our families, physically distanced not emotionally. We had a family with small children. We had to depend on each other or on friends. Those friends have been close friends, many for over twenty years now. We are physically back closer to family and those bonds are strengthening again.

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DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

I couldn't have said it better myself. Growing up as a "lonely only," I was very, very close with my parents; even if my dad and I butted heads a lot--I still adored him, and I was devastated when they passed away.

In my 40's, I was lucky enough to find a dear friend, nay an entire family of dear friends. Their family was so tight-knit, and if you were their friend, you WERE part of their family. The son, indeed, was my "brother I never had," and I told him so, and unofficially "adopted" him as such. I still call him "little bro."

As far as the supposedly traditional "happy American Family Unit" goes, I feel that nothing has done more damage in the arena of unrealistic expectations than Hollywood. Every offering from "Leave It To Beaver," up through slightly more modern versions as "The Partridge Family," or "The Brady Bunch." (gag!)... have set us up to fail by comparison from the get-go.

Much more "in tune" with reality are today's shows like "Two And a Half Men," or "Modern Family," but even at that, there is a healthy dose of unrealistic happily-ever-after outcomes of disputes and teen issues. I don't watch such shows anymore--they make me sad for setting up 'what ought to be' against 'what really is.'

Voted up, across and shared.

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tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

"nature and nurture" good thing grows without love and effort, whether its friendship or family...I have to agree with Martie, "blood is thicker than water" (even though I am adopted)....and with you GF, family comes first. I have good friends I am still in touch with after fifty-eight years, good friends from forty-five years ago and so on and so forth BUT my family comes first and foremost. It was once my parents but now they are gone so it is now my children and their children....every word you wrote is oh so true!

The best part is now there are new and wonderful friends in Hubville, like you GF....a deep bond, different than in the past but nonetheless as important and treasured.

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting. Oh, and shared too!

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fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

pop....I hear you about family who are out there somewhere. who knows.

I know something else I bet you appreciate! Like maybe Debate #1 last night? and how happy were you at the inn last night.....starting to cool the champagne?...........

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

This is a very important and interesting hub. I treasure my immediate family and the very dear friends that play a huge part in my life. As for my family that is out there somewhere, well that's a whole other story. I appreciate what I have and that includes my hubbing family. Up and awesome.

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fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

I hear you SFAM!!! We must have had some really fabulous Cyber parents!!

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fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Thank you Martie.....I'd be proud and happy to have you as a sister!!! Hugs.

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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

Beautiful hub about family and friends!

There is truth in the saying 'blood is thicker than water', yet there are millions of relatives hating each other. I am part of a very close family. Although we don't see each other often, we grab every opportunity to be together - at least 2-3 times per year. The problem is, opportunities become less when one becomes the grandparent of one's own offspring, as one's children are more important than one's siblings. Parents and grandparents are the centre of attractions. Friends fall in a different category, though they often substitute a missing family. Some of my friends are closer to me as my sisters, because they are my kindred spirits, while my sisters and I don't share the same interests.

I love the photo of the 2 sisters, 'friends forever'.

Excellent hub, Paula. Voted up to the stars :)

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Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

First HubPages Love! I love it! I'm feeling the love! Yet again if it wasn't for Casey we might never have become the Dynamic Duo! Yay for us! Karma for Casey! Woot!!!!

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fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author







Such wonderful and insightful comments from every one of you, My CYBER-friends.....I find that you all have similar feelings with a bit of a different twist....which is pretty much the way it is, where ever we search for answers.....Family who are also friends.....and Friends who feel like family......we get to mix them all up or keep them separate and even give them their own special places!!

I guess the secret's out that our lovely Linda Sue is my "First Hubpages Love!!" LMAO !.....this entire site is a whole big wonderful world of Friends and sisters and brothers.....(some of us even feel like Grandmas now and then!! ) Bless you all. I wish you peace.

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b. Malin 4 years ago

What a Wonderful, Heartfelt Hub...and a Truly Poignant read. So many "Cliche's" when it comes to Family...We always struggle with Boundaries, especially when you are a Mother-in-law...I have Sons. Whom at the moment are not speaking...Makes Family life hard. Thanks for sharing a Wonderful, thought provoking Hub.

I now look forward to Following your Hubs, FP.

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I'm a firm believer in we could choose our friends, but not our family. I kinda like my friends more on most days :) I really like you on all days!!!

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writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

I'm bad about keeping friends close. My three sisters and brother were born over a twenty year period, which left me feeling like an only child in the middle with a sister and brother 9 and 7 years older then one sister nearly 10 years younger. So there was no bond in our family until we all got older that is 50 plus. We then lost our brother but we three ladies say in touch as we are so far apart older one in England and the younger in Italy.

Voted up Beautifully and thought provoking, Joyce.

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suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

This is an excellent article. Your explanation of a family is so practical and common sense. Not all the gushy, mushy stuff that isn't the case anyway. I offer my condolences for the loss of your sister. I am fortunate to still have mine and I know how I would feel if she were suddenly gone. My family has its dysfunctional moments but we always stick together, no matter what. That said, we can choose our family of friends, but we are born into our family. Even families of friends have their moments also, but the relationships we forge with friends and family are what make life and the world go round. Thanks for an insightful article and one that is also thought provoking!

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craiglyn 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

There's that saying that "you can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family". Of course in my spiritual research I have read that we do indeed choose our family before we come here - to learn life's lessons. There's food for thought in that. I have had a troubled family relationship, which you know I have written about already, but still in the end they were and still are my family, and there is that unconditional love for them; especially after I matured and realized what some of the difficulties were. My sister and I were very close when we were youger from my age of 8 when she was born, right up to my age of 19 when I moved out of my mother's home. A split between our parents necessitated our closeness - I was her "sissie" and she went everywhere with me. As we grew older we realized that our interests were different; we are indeed different people. Sadly we are not close the way you and your sister were, but we do very much care about each other and would always be there for each other. And I guess that's about as good as it gets for us. A great hub Paula - I have voted it way up and ABI

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

I know some people say "Family is all you have" but I disagree. Even though some friends can seem like family, it is still important to have valuable connections outside of people related to you. You can choose your friends, but the majority of your family you cannot choose. There is a need to have a bond with family but it's not always possible to have the same type of relationship with all family members that is idealized.

In terms of friends I feel that you can bond and grow up with them but not all friendships are meant to be lifelong. Sometimes growing pains, other commitments, and life in general gets in the way. That's not to say every friendship is invalid but the types of friendships you have differ depending on your life stage and experience.

Great hub- it's definitely some good food for thought!

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