Capture: FAMILY

What does FAMILY mean to oneself?
So many different things I would imagine. One may immediately think of their parents or their grandparents. Possibly the wonderful memories they have of their siblings. Perhaps the next phase of one's life is all about their current family, their spouses and children. Maybe one does not ever want to exclude a special friend in this classification of FAMILY.

For myself, FAMILY means many different things. My immediate family . . . my parents and my brothers . . . this family means chaos to me. I am estranged with my mother and my father passed away long ago. My brothers (twins) and I have banded together, fortunately, and have remained close throughout our adulthood (with a few bumps in the road). I would say that we are best friends.

I learned a long time ago that I needed to create a family for myself since the one I was born into was non functioning. I learned to surround myself with good people. Wonderful women and men who guided me in the right direction. Wonderful giving families who took me under their wings and lead me to flourish to the person that I am today. I watched these wonderful friends who were mothers interact with their children and their families and I knew that someday I would be able to achieve this. A FAMILY of my own.

Today, my FAMILY includes my dear husband, who I give an incredibly hard time to, who I hold to an incredible standard and who loves me still. My FAMILY also includes my children, who have my heart in their pockets forever more, who can being me to laughter with a twinkle of an eye, who can bring tears to my eye with a knowing glance and who I adore more than anything. My FAMILY encompasses my friends, my good friends, the ones who know me and love me despite all my crazy flaws, my friends who I have met over the years working and traveling, my friends who I consider my FAMILY.

This life is discovering who we are amongst the chaos and the change. It is sheer bliss that sometimes smarts. And one of the greatest joys of it all is the love we give and get back. Falling in love, watching my children grow and learning so much through them, reaching forward while hauling along the past and watching bits of it fly off in shards and chunks as I go. The freedom of seeing it fly away and how light I feel. Discovering where I want to go, and how I can get there with my FAMILY and friends tethered faithfully to my side. Learning to let go. To move on. To trust or not to trust and learning that this is okay.
To protect myself and demand the best for my own life and that of my FAMILY.