Family. I have family on the brain.
My husband’s aunt came to visit and we met her for the first time. When I say “we”, I am including my husband. He had never met this aunt before. The story is long and not mine to tell and it was started by my husband’s grandfather (whom my husband has never met).
What I would like to share is that there is something beautiful, courageous, and authentic about a woman reaching out to siblings and extended family and risking rejection because of poor choices her father made. There is also healing and growth in embracing each other and accepting each other as family once and for all.
Family. Sometimes we are born into it and sometimes someone steps in and becomes family.
There is a man that I am biologically related to. He is technically my “father”, he is also a stranger to me. Oh sure, I’ve talked to him, I know what he looks like, but I do not “know” him, I can not claim him as mine. Then there is another man that came into my life when I was already 18 years old and slowly worked his way into my life and heart. I’ve never lived with this other man, I got to know him through my mother because she lives with him. This other man filled a space I never even knew was vacant. He loves me the way I imagine a father loves his daughter. He introduces me as his daughter. He comes through for me EVERY SINGLE TIME I need him to.
Family. My family.
My family used to mean my mother, my brother, and me. Now “my” family means my daughter, my husband, and me. Of course I have family that extends beyond those I hold nearest and dearest, but I will protect “my” family even if it means protecting them from family.
Family. I’m happy I let some “family” go. I’m happy with the family I’ve made. I’m loved by those that have accepted me as family. Family means more to me now than it ever has.