I thought I'd use this post to write about something I care quite passionately about. The concept of family. Someone once told me they did not believe in the concept of half-siblings and step children. That if a family was broke, then that was it. No more family beyond that. I disagree. I come from a large, close family. In addition, I am a child of divorce. However, instead of a broken family, I became part of an extendend blended family. this means that I aquired more family through the break up of my parents marriage. This, being from including my stepfather and his family into our own as well as when my step mother gave birth to my half-sisters, one of who in now pregnant with her first child (yet more family).
Now when my sisters were little, I told them many times there is nothing more important than family. However, lately I have learned that family goes beyond blood relatives. It's about the people you surround yourselves with. I have found, that in my family,as I'm sure in everyone's as well, I have some blood relatives that I am less than proud of. Some of them, I out right resent or dislike. And there are some that I care for deeply.
However, blended families are just as important. I've found with my stepfather and his family, the welcomed my mom and myself with open arms and love, like we were already a close part of that family. In kind, I feel that same love, respect and closeness to them as well, even if I wasn't born into their family by blood. We are a family. A larger and closer family than when it was just my blood relatives. I believe blended families offer more chances to learn and grow as a person with more love and support from a growing, what the military calls, "band of brothers".
This philosophy can be extended even further. I grew up as an only child. Therefore My closest friends and many of my first cousins became, in a way, my brothers and sisters. With that bond as a child, I have been able to hold onto that closeness throughout my life with these people. One day, while I was disciplining my former girlfriends young daughter, she tried to verbally attack me with the statement, "Well it's no surprise you don't have any friends." That statement got me to thinking about it. To her surprise, however, I agreed with her. I informed her that she was right. I don't have friends. Because they are family. The people, I have chosen to bond to in my life, have become so close to me, they are truly my brothers and sisters, my extended family. With that I'd like to thank my "brothers" Robbie, Brian, Bob, Robert, Josh, Norm, Fred and the Norris' (as well as their families) for being there for me and allowing me to be there for them. Due to this extension, the "band of brothers" grows and even more people form a caring community.
Due to the growths of these families, my own as well as others, there is bound to be a bit of "overlap" in these groups of people. And even though I am a pessimist, I am, also, an idealist. I'd like to believe that with this overlap of groups of people to care for each other that there is hope society can eventually unite to end destructive conflict, and as the John Lennon song, Imagine, says, the world can live as one. It might be an unrealistic thought, but I think it's still a good thought nonethe less.
I hope all who read this have a happy holiday weekend.