Thursday, March 15, 2012

Family, by Choice

I am a very lucky lady. I am extremely close to my immediate family, and they all live so close by! My Mom and sisters and I are like four peas in a rather boisterous pod. I also have a great family of in-laws that are wonderful and supportive and also live nearby. But earlier this week I was "gently prompted" (lol) to write a post about some other amazing people in my life. Thom and I, along with my Mom went on a whirlwind road-trip down to "The County" (Prince Edward County) to visit my fantastic (and so young looking) Godparents, Donna and Denis.

These two, along with their kids (Hi Em & Mike!) have been there for our family since WAY before I was born. Donna's friendship with my Mom has always been an example of how two people can stay friends through thick and thin, and though they may not see each other as often as they'd like, you can always pick up right where you left off. Donna and Denis have been a shining example of a strong loving marriage, which I desperately needed growing up! They have raised two great kids who were (and are) friends of ours and they have a beautiful (newly renovated!) home. We were lucky enough on this very short (24 hour) trip to have dinner with Donna's family, and I love that I am as comfortable with her parents as I am with my own grandparents, they're hilarious people. Donna's 97 year old grandma was even there, and she is an amazing lady! Still in her own home and still very independent.

But when we started discussing whether Thom could call Mike (Farmer) "Uncle Mike", (and my answer was an obvious "yes!") I started thinking about what makes someone family. Everyone has a family, whether they are close with them or not, whether they even know them or not. But some people aren't as close with their family as I am. Emotionally or in terms of distance. Does that mean that they are less "family"? Not technically... But I know that some people who live far away from their biological family sometimes make a new family. A family of friends. People you can count on, for anything at any time. People who support you, who cheer you on and share your joys and tears. Who can call you out for all your crap, but still make you laugh at the end of it all. This is the relationship our family has to Donna and Denis. When we'd all be at the cottage growing up, you never knew which Mom would be telling you off if you screwed up!

I heard someone say "You can't pick your family", but I think you can't pick ALL your family. Some family you're born with, and some become family over time. You build a family with love, whether you do it biologically or through acquisition. And I love my crazy family!!

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