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Images of Family

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow. ~Edward Sandford Martin

I love that quote. While Thanksgiving is set aside as a day to offer gratitude for our good fortune, acknowledgement, particularly for those of us lucky enough to live in freedom and bounty, should come each and every day. It's a practice to which I've tried to adhere, willing my mind to heed my grateful heart and daily take stock of the blessings of my life. Always the first to top my list is family. Except ironically during our annual Thanksgiving dinner announcement of what we're grateful for, as my kids have told me I can't keep saying the same one all the time.

Decades ago, family generally followed the nuclear format of mother, father, and children. The 21st-century family, however, comes in many shapes and forms. Today's can have same-sex parents or single parents. They may have one child, two children or opt for no children.

So too, are there those in this often turbulent society who have lost loved ones or have shunned or been shunned and thus step outside the traditional bond to find the connection that gives them the feeling of unity others find with blood relatives. For them adopted kin or a strong circle of friends may give meaning to the word family.

While blood still tends to be stronger than water, family is ultimately about the strength and comfort it gives you than the shape it takes. Actor David Ogden Stiers once said, "Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.

So we take this opportunity to salute family in all its forms with these charming photos:

iCLIPART.com Family Photo Collection

AntsMagazine Family Photographs

Acclaim Images Family Photos

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