One thing I have learned is that your family is what you make it. Yes, we all have blood relatives who are family, but then many have those who they are not blood related to that they consider family. I have not only witnessed this within my own family but have witnessed it with others around me. This is the family that I want to highlight at this time.
In a country that is ever growing and a culture that is ever changing it is not very often that you live on a street with your whole family any longer.
Throughout my life most of my family has been at a distance. Growing up my father’s family was the closest in proximity to my family; for the most part we all lived within 10 miles of one another. My mom’s family lived, and still live, about an hour or so away. As I got older much of my dad’s family moved away and my mom’s family stayed about the same distance. This is understandable, people get older and opportunities happen, as a kid I didn’t understand and just felt like they all were choosing to leave us. As an adult I see it differently and with social media it helps keep everyone in touch. I would never ask them to change their decisions as it has benefited them all. However, for this reason my family and I created our “other” family.
This other family is created of our closest friends, those people that have celebrated in our triumphs and been there for us when we’ve needed help. My mom’s three best friends, have become like aunts to me. I can call them at anytime and usually will call them just to vent if for some reason I want a different opinion other than my mom’s. When I have exciting news I usually will call them shortly after I call my mother so she isn’t the one to tell them.
My best friend’s family has welcomed me into their home many times and has even allowed me to seek solace there on the occasions I may need it. I also know, that I can rely on them if I were to ever need help. My sister’s boyfriend has become a brother to me, despite ragging on him all the time and all the crap my family has given him he has stood by my sister and my family without falter more times then I can count.
I’ve seen this happen with friends of mine as well, those who have step parents or siblings. Granted a marriage most often occurred to make them family but there’s a level of acceptance that must occur for the “family” title. I’ve seen families created of solely friends, growing up one of my classmate’s mothers always called all of his friends her “children” and to this day still does. She always welcomed his friends to their home and acted like a mom to anyone and everyone.
As I’ve gotten older, and with my boyfriend’s graduate program, there are more individuals who have been introduced into my life who I consider to be family. He and I have been lucky enough to have been included in friends-giving and Christmas parties, it humbles me when we are invited and considered to be what they call the “Pharmily”. These are family members you end up choosing to be in your life and take part in it, they’re also the ones choosing you.
Family matters, family impacts you, but family is not solely made up of blood. Those “other” family members are the one’s you choose to welcome into your life. These are family members you end up choosing to be in your life and take part in it, they’re also the ones choosing you. I love both my blood family and my “other” family as my life wouldn’t be complete without either.