Many times I have heard the saying blood is thicker than water when it comes to family matters but I have found that this is not always true. If you have had the pleasure, the HONOR, of living in a blended family than you know that water can be thicker than blood. Let me give you some beautiful examples from my own experience.
Let’s start with my parents. Both of my parents re-married when I was young and I was blessed with two step-parents who love me as their own. My step-mom is my first example. From the word go, she has treated me as her very own daughter and never waivered. I have tested her love, tried her patience, and even tried to drive a wedge into her marriage to my father simply because I was a punk kid at times. (Even into my twenties). I made some rough choices and she stood by my side, encouraged me, lifted me up and helped dust me off when I fell. She is one tough lady but has always been there standing next to me and even behind me letting me shine as I found my own light as an adult. Just as my own biological parents have done.
Next there is my step-father. This is another example of unconditional love. He and I have a different relationship than he does with my other siblings. Though he loves us all very much, he and I have a special bond that I value very much. This bond is a result of choices I made in my twenties that changed my life and the lives of my family. (I will go into this in a separate blog someday down the road, but trust me, bad choices bring out major changes). My parents, all four of them stepped in to help me at varying degrees and this opened up many channels of communication that I never thought possible. It was when I was at my lowest point that I found the most love and tolerance. I thought I had pushed all of my family to the breaking point, but this couldn’t have been further from the truth. My parents and my step-parents have taught me what real unconditional love is for a child and for another human being. For that, I am eternally grateful.
This brings us to the present. I am now married and a step parent to two wonderful grown men. They of course don’t need a mommy or by any means even a mother, but here I am and they are stuck with me. I say that jokingly. I love these two men as if they were my very own all along. I now know how my step-parents felt and feel. I worry about these guys constantly and want the best for them always. It’s crazy! They have children of their own and I am beyond blessed to be their “grandma”. Words cannot describe the feeling I get when the family I married into comes together. Some live close by and some are out of state, but I assure you they are all as close to me and as important to me as my sister, my niece and nephew, and my own parents.
Each of my sons participates in a blended family as well and I am so proud of the kind of men they are. They are great husbands / boyfriends and amazing fathers. Raised by an amazing man, my husband. Though I didn’t have any part in raising them, I am still just as proud of them as ever. My cup runneth over! For the longest time as a child I took my step- parents for granted. I was so very wrong. They chose to marry my parents, they chose to be a part of my up-bringing and they choose to still be a part of my everyday life and for that I am so eternally grateful and blessed. I too choose to be a part of my sons lives and I am so blessed that at this stage in their lives they let me. As adults they have the opportunity to accept me into their lives, their homes and their new families.
Throughout my life, one of the greatest lessons I have learned is that your family is what and who you make it. It consists of blood relatives, people you marry and friends that are just as important or even more important than family. Family can be close in proximity or live far away. You can talk every day or once a month or once a year, but they are still there for you, supporting you, loving you, and in your corner when you need them and you are there for them as well.
When I play those silly games wondering what would you want with you if you were stranded on an island, my answer is always my family. I can make it through anything anywhere with them by my side.
My wish for you, my friends, is that you love your family / friends as much as I do. That you have the opportunity to make amends if they are needed and that you embrace life and love more than “stuff”. At then end of the day you “can’t take it with you”. After all…
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away.”
As always, have a happy day.