Friday, December 04, 2009

Family

I've been thinking a lot lately about family. What makes someone "family"? I know that we are born into a certain family but often those who are related by blood to us don't act like family and maybe we wouldn't even want to call them that. With my mom passing away I am left with a huge void; she was what was left of my immediate family that I felt any real closeness to. Don't get me wrong, I love my siblings and I have a lot of them, 6 to be exact. My oldest sister Lynn lives in MN and she's a peach, I love her mucho mucho and I also love her daughter Alana, my niece who also had breast cancer. She's two years older than me (the niece) and she's awesome too. I also love my brother Billy; he's my only "full" brother, we share both parents. Even Angie, the one who drives me nuts, I love her but come on, she's not who I would go to in a time of need, let's be serious.
So who is my real family? Well, these are the people I consider family and if they read this I hope that makes them happy. Sean of course, he is my honey, I love him more than I can tell ya and I am proud and happy to be marrying him in a week. Then there are my best friends, I don't have just one but several who are the kind of friend's all women should be lucky enough to have; Natalie (I've known her since I was 12 and we are still friends all these years later), Karla (my first LA friend, and my rock, she took care of me when I was recovering from my mastectomy), Shannon, my second LA friend who would do anything for me, Joyce who moved to AZ but is still one of my best friends for life and flew out to LA to help take care of me after my cancer diagnosis, Jennifer who is like my little sister and is sometimes a bit nutty but has a big heart and is there when you need her. And my work friends, Mary, Maria and the other Jen as well as Arlene, Jackie and Chris who took me to chemo appts and brought me food and Alan who is the best guy friend I have. And last but certainly not least is Heidi, my ex-MIL and always friend who loves me unconditionally and came to take care of me after my last surgery. I would do anything for these people and they would do anything for me and to me, that's the real meaning of family. Blood is an accident of birth but to have people like this in your life is a blessing and I am proud that I am somehow deserving of their love and friendship.
So that's my real family now that my mom and dad are gone. I love my birth family but these are the people who are truly there for me and we have chosen to share our lives, good and bad. How lucky I am to have them.

6 Comments:

Blogger Spidey said...

the saying, you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family, rings true.

2:36 AM  
Blogger Jilly said...

i agree with you about family. i'd much rather be with my best friends than my sisters, because they "get" me. I hope these people share your special day with you next week, because it seems like they'd love to be there for you.

jilly

2:54 PM  
Blogger emma said...

Sometimes "Family" is overrated. IMO sometimes family members do bad shit and then have the attitude "so what?"--like you're stuck with them just because you're related to them.

2:33 PM  
Blogger UrbanStarGazer said...

I agree. The other thing that bugs me about some blood relatives is the assumption that just because they're blood related, they know you better than anyone else.

I've mentioned that my sister is nutty and if you ask her, she will tell you that her opinions and ideas about me are "real" and that anyone else just doesn't know the real me.

The thing that she doesn't get, that I've tried to explain to her, is that she knows the "me" that interacts with her. She doesn't get that she is the last person that I would confide in, that we've NEVER been close, and that I don't like her so that colors my interaction with her.

She thinks that because I'm nicer to my friends than I am to her that I'm a phony and they don't know the real "me". She doesn't get that I'm nicer to them because I like them.

But . . . she's a nutball.

Sorry, hit a nerve. :)

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how well I understand that nerve, Urban -- since Frank died the lines between family and friends have gotten very blurred, and a few in my blood family have opted for selective blindness while my friends have stepped up to the plate (forgive the cliche) in the most wonderful ways. It's always surprising and amazing though,the nature of relationship I mean, isn't it!
Carolyn

7:14 AM  
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2:32 AM  

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