The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.
The family you come from isn’t as important as the family you’re going to have.
– Ring Lardner
Even as a young child, I used to dream of the perfect family – the kind where you can confide in your mom and your dad scares all your boyfriends (out of love, not just because it’s fun), you borrow your sister’s clothes and gossip about your latest dates. Where, as adults, you visit each other frequently, and your kids and nieces/nephews are the best of friends; and every year at holiday time you gather around the same tree and it’s fun.
That’s not the family I have. I love my family, even with their faults; and I hope they love me despite mine, but we are not close. I have one sibling who I DO see myself growing old with while our children play together. One. Out of five.
Chris gets very frustrated with me, because I spend way to much time upset over things my family does that continues to hurt me. He’d rather I just move on and cut as many ties as I can. He doesn’t like to see me hurt, and I love him for that. He cut ties with his mother for nearly 5 years because of drama. They have a decent relationship now, and the drama is gone. He wants the same for me, but I have never been one who has been good at cutting someone out. They are FAMILY; it’s difficult to give up completely.
I have a great non-biological family, though. It’s not the same, at all, as one you are tied to – but it’s still nice. Everyone deserves someone who is happy for them, and who they can confide in.
Perhaps this is why my need to have a large family of my own is so great. My children will know barely any of their cousins. My sister’s kids, if she has any, will be the only ones they see regularly. She is the only one I don’t have panic attacks at the idea of seeing. I hope I can somehow raise a family that is different than my own, one where everybody visits at the same time without stress. I hope my grandkids grow up together.
Chris tells me that perhaps this is a good thing. I will be the Matriarch of my family. He is always trying to find the silver lining when I can’t see one. It’s hard to foster something in your family that is foreign to you.
My two best friends, and myself (I hope), are all moving away from each other over this next year. We already plan to meet up once a year or so to visit with each other. It may not be a holiday gathered around a tree, but it’s still a visit with people I consider my family. I am lucky, in the regard, that I have many amazing people who I love and who love me that live scattered across the country. No matter where we go we’ll be close to someone.
Perhaps. one day. I’ll reconnect to my other siblings – and see my parents again (it’s been 4 years since I’ve seen either of them) – but there is a lot of bad blood that’s never been discussed. I fear it’s that – more than anything else – that keeps us from being close.