Family is Everything

by Olivia Barker

This weekend, my Uncle Marty was honored for his baseball career with the Land O' Lakes League. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987 and this weekend was a celebration not only of his career, but his life and our family! Nearly our whole Italian side of my family came together in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin to celebrate the late Marty Barker.
He was considered an icon in the community and was a well respected man in our family. He was 10 years older than my dad and we lived so far away, and even though I only met him once, I heard so many stories I feel like I've known him my whole life. It's amazing how time, distance and whatever else families go through keeps us apart, but it's even more amazing how people can come together to celebrate being a family! 

My family has kept up with me through my posts, through Facebook and through my dad's updates, but seeing them, hugging them and sharing stories with them this weekend meant the world to me. The outpouring of support, the interest in my new job and all the love I was shown today reminds me of why I love being from a big family. Being a part of a supportive community allows me to be my best self. I need this with my family, my friends and my work. I've always been very independent, but as I've grown into myself, I'm able to recognize that a strong support system is something I not only value, but need to feel successful. 

Family is the most important thing in our lives. Families look different for everyone, but love the people who love you and never take your blessings for granted.

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