Saturday, November 23, 2013

My family...

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about family.  I would like to think that it is simply the time of year that, traditionally, we consider and remember our families.  But, I'm sure most of the thoughts were brought about by the deterioration of my own family.  The situation with Mom over the last few years has forced me to realize that of the unit that my siblings and I formed, wasn't as strong as I believed it to be.  I venture into this holiday season with the memories of two brothers who have passed, a brother who would rather be anywhere but here, and another brother who has virtually walked away from the unit and our mother.  I miss them all desperately. 

But, I am forced to also consider the amazing family that I am blessed with...

-My daughters, who I wish could be anywhere but here and living this Hell with me.  But, I am so very thankful that they are here, loving and supporting me everyday. They are my rocks.
-The cousin who unfailingly sends me a card of support, offering words of understanding when I need them most. Who always "gets it".
-The uncle who texts me a couple of times a week with a smile and a good wish, who gives me the best hugs when I see him.
-The cousin who has her own difficulties, who offers me unconditional support, who would be here in a heartbeat if were to only ask, who always includes my youngest daughter in fun activities and allows her a safe place to get away and to be a child.
-The aunt who has sent me money just because she loves her sister AND me, who offers me support and understanding.
-The ones who offer encouraging words and who read my words without judgement.  The ones who, I KNOW would be here in the trenches with me if they could be.

 But, I have another, equally important family.  They are the friends...

-The ones who I haven't seen in many years, who by the wonder of Facebook, have come into my life and shown me kindness, understanding and even escapes from my daily challenges. 
-The ones whom I have never met, but I can privately share the ugliest parts of my life and they respond with compassion, suggestions that come from experience, and even laughter.  Lots of laughter.
-The childhood friends who always have a positive word and a hug when I need it.
-The one who has her own demons but never fails to help me fight mine. 

If you are reading this, you are my family. This Thanksgiving, while I mourn the loss of my traditional family, I rejoice in the people who are here for me.  Everyday.  As I sit down to our quiet Thanksgiving dinner, please know that I will be saying a prayer of gratitude for you, my family, as I do everyday.

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