Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Believer in Family

Today was unexpectedly a big day. I got to have lunch with my Aunt Lynn who I have not seen or talked to in about 3 years. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous about meeting with her, afraid that she wouldn’t like me or that she would think I was completely whacked or nuts and run screaming the other direction. It is rare that I feel so comfortable so quickly with anyone, but being with her almost seemed like second nature. There wasn’t any weird hellos or strange silences, and to my utter relief no running and screaming in the other direction. I found myself talking a lot, and it was about important and emotional things. I felt connected. Many times during the conversation I wondered how I could be talking with her so openly and honestly after being apart for so long.

I hear people talk all of the time about the importance of family and how you just love your family “no matter what” simply because they are family. For me this has never rung true after my family was shattered when I was twelve years old. For 13 years after that I had no contact with anyone from my maternal side of the family. All I had at that point was my Mom, Dad and paternal grandmother (who is now deceased). Being 12 at the time of the “split” I adapted rather quickly without realizing what a toll the sudden loss of family had taken. I quickly became a believer in the power of friendship and that your friends are the “family you choose” rather than the family you were born with, but there has always been something missing. I realized today what that “something” was. It was family. See, the difference between my friends and my family is that my friends weren’t there when I was born, or learned to walk, or went to kindergarten, or at the surprise party my family threw for me when I was nine, or there when I first learned the word “penis” and made fun of it incessantly because it sounded so odd and foreign, or said my first cuss word in front of my Mamaw and embarrassed the shit out of my mom. So when they weren’t there when I got my period, started high school, got in trouble for sneaking a boy in the house, got my first solo in the school musical, graduated from high school, got married, adopted our first rescue dog, or graduated from college, there was something missing. I could have had 100 friends there but they couldn’t take the place of family. There is a history, a connection there with my family that my friends can’t duplicate. I have always been confused about why my cousin and aunt have been such a believer in family, why they wanted to connect so badly even though we hadn’t seen each other or talked to each other in years. I think I get it now. I may actually believe in Family again.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

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