In life, there are people we choose as our family.
And then there are the humans who are technically family. I’ve never questioned or wondered about who was my family by blood. Most of them have been around my entire life. Some not always, but I’ve been lucky that almost all of them have been. I’ve seen weird tensions arise and I’ve seen strong sibling relationships. Our family isn’t perfect but for the most part, it’s strong and thriving.
However, I’ve also been lucky enough to have two amazing parents who have brought more family into our lives. They have encircled us with more strong and loving adults, who we call our Aunts and Uncles, despite only being related by love. Without a doubt or hesitation, Lil and I call them family.
For thirty years I never even had a second thought about the support and love from ALL the family that surrounds me. I’ve always been appreciative and grateful for each and every one of them. It wasn’t until more recently did I understand how truly grateful I am for the chosen ones. Recently, I’ve also come to see that family can be toxic and you can walk away from them if their habits and traits do not serve you. It wasn’t my situation, but I saw firsthand how it could be one of the hardest decisions someone would have to make. I’ve also seen how detrimental family can be to a person and how one could keep allowing it. Both of which are hard to endure and watch someone you love go through. We get to make the chose who we keep in our lives, I hope you surround yourself with people who truly love, support, and wish the best for you, but also protect your self-care, self-love, and self-worth with them in your life.
All that being said, this past weekend we celebrated my cousin…in love…marrying her other half. Everything leading up to their nuptials was no different than if we were celebrating another family member. We, my immediate family, were included and invited to everything surrounding the wedding. It really made me reflect on how long this family has been in our lives. Our Mom’s have been friends since middle school and have remained so throughout our entire lives. Dare I even say, they are closer now than ever.
It wasn’t until people asked my plans for the weekend, did it even dawn on me that they were family by love. Even then I didn’t think twice about it UNTIL someone asked which side of the family the wedding was for. And then I went into how they are our family by love, not blood. In the end, my co-worker knew exactly what I was talking about. Family by love is something most all of us know, even if you have a huge family. There are humans in our life we choose as our family and it feels damn good.
I can only hope when it’s my turn to have a child(ren), they know they already have a strong chosen family surrounding them, as do all the Lovebugs I am blessed to be an Ate too.
So, if you’re ever wondering or questioning your family by blood, remember not all family is by blood. Family by love are the ones brought into your life on purpose. Whoever brings light and love, keep them around.
Family by love is FAMILY!