I tend to think you are closer to those with whom you went through difficult times. In times of difficulty we tend to show our most unrefined emotions whether it’s extreme anger or grief, hysterical laughter or unrestrained affection. In those times of distress, finesse adds no value and is absolutely not necessary when you are with those closest to you. Table manners vanish because what matters is filling your tummy. Dress sense fades with the waning clothing. Poise is of little use without elegant footwear.
When scarce resources are mixed with tears and shared, the sweetness of the fellowship burns deep bonds among the hearts involved. Words are few but words are deep. Every stare of tired eyes has deep meaning and can be read quite easily by each fellow. Nothing is meaningless even though not everything can be described in human language. Every thought is shared though often not spoken. Laughter is rare and precious, loud and unrestrained, wild ….
Then when light begins to flicker far in the future and you recall those dark years, memories make you smile, laugh, then cry… then laugh again, giving thanks. The wounds are gone only dry scars remain. Memories are faint with just a few tattooed on your heart. The most precious of all are the bonds formed with those who shared those dark years with you. Those bonds are eternal. Those bonds are precious.
Families are bonded by blood, but they are also bonded by fire – those years of intense pressure when hope lay only in God, when the future seemed so distant, when fire raged and eternal bonds were formed. Strong families are born in adversity if they survive through it. Even when there is no blood-bond, strong families can be born. Do you remember your bonds?