It has been said many times before that no two families are alike. Our relatives maybe loud and crazy, small and introspective, totally conventional or completely unorthodox, but our family is ours and no matter what our family makes up, is a huge part of who we are. They sum up the strength and security families provide us. Our family loves us even though our relatives can at times drive us just a little bit insane or we are the one driving the rest of them crazy.

Regardless of religion, here's how beautiful Pope Francis wrote about the family and children: There is no perfect family. We do not have perfect parents, we are not perfect, we do not marry a perfect person nor have perfect children. We have complaints from each other. We disappoint each other. So there is neither healthy marriage nor healthy family.

Families are life branches on a tree. We grow in different directions yet our roots remains as one.\

Forgiveness is vital to our emotional health and spiritual survival. Without forgiveness the family becomes an arena of conflicts and a stronghold of hurt. Without forgiveness, the family becomes ill. Forgiveness cleanses the soul, the mind and liberates the heart.  Whoever does not forgive does not have peace in the soul nor communion with God. Hurt is poison that intoxicates and kills.

The love in our family flows strong and deep, leaving us memories to treasure and keep.

Keeping heartache in the heart is a self-destructive gesture. Those who do not forgive are physically, emotionally and spiritually ill. Parents are the children source of life. They are there to protect their sons and daughters and not to compete with them. That is why the family must be a place of life, not of death; territory of cure and not of illness; stage of forgiveness and not guilt. Forgiveness brings joy where sorrow has produced sadness; healing, where sorrow has caused disease.

With family playing such a major role in our identities, no wonder that great writers, celebrated thinkers, and observant luminaries have had such amazing insights into what it means to be a family. When all the dust is settled and all the crowds are gone, the things that matter are faith, family, and friends.

By Tim Pedrosa

My wonderful shelter is my family, we are real. We make mistakes, we say I’m sorry, we give second chances, we have fun, we give hugs, we forgive, we do really loud, we are patient, and we love. Everyone needs a house to live in, but a supportive family is what builds a home.