Some families have one mommy, some families have one daddy, or two families. And some children live with their uncle or aunt. Some live with their grandparents, and some children live with foster parents. And some live in separate homes, in separate neighborhoods, in different areas of the country – and they may not see each other for days, or weeks, months… even years at a time. But if there’s love, dear… those are the ties that bind, and you’ll have a family in your heart, forever.
I’m an only child whose parents divorced early on in my life so titles were quickly thrown out the window along with the “norm” that you thought your friends went home to. As I got older friends became brothers and sisters and my entire family could be broken down into two groups, cousins or aunts & uncles. No one was a second or third or step, they all are close family. From my grandmother’s best friends to my step parents all of these people help mold me into the person I am today.
I was an only child with two working parents and for the longest time I was the ONLY child so I was constantly surrounded by family. My world grew by two when my parents got divorced and through that experience I have learned to allow my heart to give love to anyone willing to accept it. Not all of these people I consider close family are immediate family. The world around us is changing and with that so is the definition of family (thank god)!
It wasn’t until I met my boyfriend that I realized not everyone ran between 4 different homes on holidays and had such a big family that it’s even hard for me to remember everyone’s name. I still explain to him that in my world chaos was exciting and my family wasn’t like an episode of “Leave it to Beaver”. The thing is, is that it’s hard for people to understand that I prefer it this way. So many people and so much love, it’s a nice feeling.
What isn’t easy is keeping up with everyone and staying in touch, making sure you follow up with Paul and his broken leg or seeing how Sam did at her recital. I love knowing how people’s lives are going and how their family is but sometimes I just can’t juggle it all. So it takes a wedding or a funeral for us to remember how much we love each other and miss one another. It’s nice to reminisce about the past and the hilarity that ensued, but to also see the new & exciting things happening in the present.
We can never go back to what we had but we can embrace the future and all of the love that is headed towards us. Remember a family in my eyes is simply defined as a group of people who love and care for one another. Nothing more, nothing less. So surround yourself by people you love and always make sure they know how much you care because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.