No, not the tv show, but rather my thoughts on family…
Recently, my family went on another of our family vacations. Over the years we’ve done quite a few vacations together, joining my mom’s siblings and their families. It’s rare that all 8 of them and families are together and even this time it was only 7 of them. The cruise departure day was my birthday and I was excited to celebrate with my cousins. After some confusion we all were finally onboard and dinner time neared. I arrived to dinner at our scheduled 6PM time and just sat there. It was a table for 12 but no one else showed up. I was angry and very disappointed and then 40 minutes later my big sis and oldest niece showed up and sat with me so I wouldn’t eat alone. I didn’t call but they just kind of appeared out of nowhere. We then finished the night by discovering the sun deck right on time to see the sunset followed by a spur of the moment oldies music dance session with the family.
This experience triggered me to reevaluate the meaning of family.
What is Family?
Years ago I realized that I didn’t fit in with my family. I mean I love them because they are my family, but common interests among me and the rest aren’t so common… Now don’t get me wrong, my mom is my ride or die, my plus one, and my oldest niece is jumping in when she can, but it is still hard for me to negotiate spaces during family gatherings. As a child, I usually stayed at home and escaped into my own worlds using crime drama books. However, as I have gotten older I have realized the need to build relationships with family, and that family isn’t limited to blood relationships.
Family: My view of family is that they are the ones who love me, despite me. They show up when it’s time to show up. They have my back when I need them. Thus, my family includes the friends who I have gained through the years of living away from my hometown. I have multiple 2nd moms, grandmas, and older and younger sisters and brothers whom I share no DNA, but who I know I can call at any moment.
My Family Matters to me because they are the ones who keep me true to myself, grounded in reality while allowing the freedom to dream and pursue my goals.
Why does your family matter to you?