All my life, I have been taught that family is everything. From the days of my grandparents raising me, we would take trips to see family. Many state lines were crossed and many miles across Texas were covered in their lifetime and most were en route to visit family. Last weekend, I was blessed to have another family reunion come to Breckenridge, and, once again, as they jumped in their cars and returned back to their respective residences, I was left a little teary-eyed.
Every reunion is different. There are family members that we love to see — you know, the cousins, the aunts and uncles that you always loved. Then, you have the family that maybe you were a little too young to know. As life grows, you find you had more in common than you did in your younger days. So you find yourself catching up on life. And, in my case, you meet family that you never knew. You try to find that common ground between you. You talk about the history of the family tree — like relatives you both knew and places you've been. Bonds are formed because everyone there has something in common. You begin learning the true concept of family and then you set sail.
As we grow older, the meaning of the word “family” becomes a little more prevalent in our lives. We all know our days are numbered so the time apart seemingly feels like an eternity until the next time we meet. I try to apply the family concept in my daily life as well. I feel like the majority of Breckenridge residents made a choice to raise their children and families in our city. They made a choice to call Breckenridge their home.
My wish is for Breckenridge residents to embrace the concept of family. We all want what's best for our town. We want to see our city grow and not blow away. We like to see everyone working together for the good of our city, not to tear it down. A family concept looks at how can we make something better for our town and its citizens, not how can we find a way to cut someone off at the knees for our own personal gain. Now in this family concept — in a perfect world — things would be perfect. However, every family has a “black sheep.” In a town, there are “wolves in sheep's clothing.” Every family and town has to overcome negative aspects and “devil's advocate” tendencies. But it takes everyone to make that concept work.
What is the meaning of all this? Well, I look at living in Breckenridge like an everyday family reunion. Not a day goes by that there isn't someone I cross paths with that was an old classmate, athletic idol, teacher, business owner or just a longtime resident that I grew up knowing. Not every day of my life in Breckenridge was a rosy one for me but, in the famous words of Breckenridge High School football coach Steve Freeman — “every one of us has a story to tell.” But, I'm here. I plan to raise a family here. And, I plan to live my life here. So, I might as well try to make something good while God is giving me the opportunity.
As my mother drove away from me Sunday afternoon heading back to her home in Dallas, I fought back tears because, well, I'm just a baby. As I looked at her car's back window, I noticed there was a Breckenridge Buckaroo sticker. I smiled and shook my head at the same time. It was bred in me to have this concept of family. And, I plan on continuing to pass it on.