For me, my friends are a significant part of my family. I grew up with a mom, dad, sister, two cats, and a dog – all of whom I was very close with. And while I was close with my grandparents when they were alive, my extended family – aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. – didn’t live close by so we didn’t spend a lot of time together and form relationships. Instead, my family spent many summer vacations, holidays, and birthdays with very close “family friends” as we called it. I referred to them as my aunts, uncles, and cousins, although we were not technically related by blood.
This idea of “family friends” was an important and common concept from an early age, and it’s why I’ve formed such strong friendships throughout my life that truly mean the world to me. Along with my immediate family, these friends are the people I’ve formed great memories with and who have always been there for me during the happy and tough times, and vice versa.
My definition of family is just one meaning. How do you define family and what does it mean to you? Let us know in the comments below or post on social media and tag ENHE and use the hashtag #LiteracyIsJustice!
Robyn Nentwig is the Director of Internal Communications at Change Healthcare, where she is responsible for employee and executive communications. She had previously worked for a corporate and crisis communication consulting firm in New York City before moving to Nashville. Robyn spends her time exploring Nashville’s new restaurants, attending concerts, biking, playing tennis and hiking. She is currently serving as a board intern.