During the past month or so, I got to thinking about the concept of families and what is considered a family in this day in age. Growing up, I was always told that family was blood and blood only, but I'm starting to think a little differently. I mean, yes, family is who you're related to, but there is definitely more to it.
Over the years, our family gatherings have definitely changed. My immediate family would go to 2 holiday gatherings, one for each side of the family. Several years ago, this tradition changed and the two sides, which knew and liked each other, came together. Then the relatives started bringing close friends and it wasn't really frowned upon...unless the guest started some unnecessary drama.
(There is a point to this, I promise!)
Around the July 4th holiday, I went to a friend's family reunion (something I had never done before) as a honorary family member and was a little shocked about what I found. Despite the fact that I had never met these people before that day, I really didn't feel out of place. More so when a few non-family members who I knew finally showed up a few hours later. Yes, there was the awkward "And who are you?" question, but by the end of the night, it wasn't too bad.
At one point in the evening, my friends aunt gave a toast with most of the family and I couldn't tell you what she said for the most part, but this one line did stick out: "Family isn't just blood, but the people who you care about and are there for you no matter what." I don't know why, but this stayed with me. Maybe because its true.
Since then, I thought of the people that I have adopted into my quirky family and how sometimes, they are people that I know for a fact, that like family, I could not live without.
Maybe that's the idea....
Maybe a family isn't just who you're related to, but the people who have your back no matter the situation, who love you when even you can't see why and who you don't think you could ever see life without.