I know, a lot of people speak openly these days about what the definition of family means to them. These days, family means something different to a lot of people; to me, family is whomever I feel close to.
I was talking with my temp about family, and how I have been affected by the changes that have occurred this year, and it became even more apparent to me, that my family is no longer what it used to be. I have found myself straying from my blood family, and gravitating toward my beloved group of friends, which seems to be growing.
I have found myself to be more appreciated, more understood, and my chosen family is more willing to show me who I am, and the mistakes I make to my face, rather than fear expressing how they feel, and just putting on an act to get through a yearly gathering.
In essence, I have come to find my blood family to be intermixed with lies, deceptions, and issues that go beyond blood relation; they are pinning me as the core of problems in the family, and I have done nothing to warrant that reaction.
Sure, one could call me a philanthropist: one willing to sacrifice of myself to help another soul desperate for change, advice, and guidance. Apparently, that is frowned upon in my family. Oddly enough, I was raised to be giving, caring, tolerant, and understanding. I was raised to help and love those less fortunate than me.
I stand to lose my family due to how things are going these days, and you know what? I am not afraid of losing them. They barely know me, as it is, and I am willing to let them go without a care in the world. I believe I would be just fine if I never had to see them again. And yes, that would mean never having to show up at their funerals either.
My sister, however, if mom dies, I will probably never see her again, accept at her funeral, or on her death bed, if she cares to call on me. We’ve become estranged over the course of the past year, and I am watching her deteriorate from afar. She has liver disease, and I can see where this is going. She’s been given ten years at most, and I’m worried it will be less. However, she’s never around.
She assumes a lot since she’s not around mom and I, and it gets frustrating that she jumps to conclusions, speaking with my aunt who caused all the family issues. She wants mom out of the house, and that will happen soon, though I don’t know how soon.
I am concentrating on my path, and doing the best I can for mom. I have more of a life outside my family now, seeing as there’s enough discord to deter me. I have been ridiculed for helping, and told that my way of being there is not right, and I feel the need to pack it in.
I love my mother, and it hurts me terribly, as she loves me deeply, and we share a lot of similar interests, and are very close emotionally. It hurts her heart to see the family splitting as it is, and to see me willing to walk away and become the elusive daughter, is a nightmare for her, as I have been her lifeline for as long as I have been alive.
She has stood up to her sister, who has caused the discord, but she is unable to convince her that she is wrong on all accounts. And then, influencing my sister, who cares a lot for my mother, and is becoming disillusioned to what I am doing for my mother by that outside influence, it’s obnoxious.
It has come to this: I will have a hands-off approach to my mother whenever family is around, but then, when it’s just us, I will stick around a while. I had hoped to host family gatherings at my new home, but it’s obvious the universe has decided that will not happen. So, it’s okay, the gatherings will be friends and family who I choose to keep close.
I look forward to sitting around the gorgeous redwood dining room table my great grandmother bequeathed to me, with a turducken in the middle of the table, surrounded by various delicious types of stuffing, and trimmings, and my close friends and mother, enjoying a fun-filled Thanksgiving of our own design.
Christmas will be around the tree in the living room, with my close friends, of course, and also in-laws who I see as family more than my own. I am glad with the family I have now, though not all of them can be in the same room at the same time, sadly. We all can’t have our cake and eat it too, unfortunately.
But when it comes to happiness, we can’t choose who we’re blood related to, but we can choose who holds our hearts forever. We can choose who is worth our time. We can choose who we give our love and energy to, as we’ll know it is surely appreciated. It’s my friends who truly know me, and know more about me than those I share my blood type with.
So, therefore, I have chosen my family; enough said.