What is the definition of Family anyways?

Hello My Fellow Blog Lovers & Supporters!

Happy post Easter to all of you!  I am sure you are all still hung over on chocolate and farrrrrr to many helpings of dinner! But, what a gorgeous weekend for food, family and fun, right!  It has also come to my realization that this blog is my 50th one!

Holy AMAZEABALLS!!!

That just blows my mind, that I have committed to writing about me and my life (side note:  not the first time I have done this but the first time I have fully committed to it) and here we are 50 blogs later!

Screw you procrastination! 😛

Since this whole thing started with me and my experiences with my family, I found it apropo that we revisit what this concept is – What does the term ‘family’ mean to me and possibly for you as well?

Now the term family really does have many connotations or definitions if you will.  Long ago are the days of the term family, meaning the generic ‘nuclear’ family of Mom, Dad and Kids.  Today, family cam mean: 2 Mommies and kids, 2 Daddies and kids, Grandma and kids, Grandpa and kids, Adopted, Foster, Step etc. The possibilities are endless!

This past weekend, I was given the opportunity to not only spend time with my Mom and Stepdad but I was also given the privilege to spend time with old and dear friends that to me are just as close as family, in fact we are family in my books.

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Yes I am the cutie baby!  My the left front to back, My brothers Rob, John, David, Chris.  Me as the baby, my sister Debbie and behind her my brother Rick.  Missing is my brother Fred (the oldest) and my other sister Debbie.  Yes 2 Debbies don’t judge! 😛

You see, I haven’t always had a smooth sailing when it comes to my family.  I am the youngest of 9 children.  Yes you read that right, 9!!  But, it is not what it seems.  We are a blended family, with both my Mom and my Dad bringing their own children into the mix.  Mom had 3 children, Dad had 5 and pretty soon I came along to round everything out. So, in this assembly alone we had, biological, step and half all mixed together.  Having a large age gap, it is no wonder that it was hard to find a connection with most of my siblings growing up as I was revered more as a nuisance they had to ‘babysit’ when they would much rather be running around with their friends.  They were teenagers, who could blame them.  Well this division never really mended with some, as we both got older and honestly went our separate ways never to really cross paths again except for the occasional wedding or unfortunate funeral.  We are family in blood yes, but in emotional connection, no we definitely are not.  As the old saying goes, you can’t pick your family right!?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not sad or bitter.  I let any animosity go a long time ago, it is what it is and I have accepted this.  The one thing that truly hangs with me is all of the missed opportunities to be a part of my nieces and nephews lives because of this rift between me and my select siblings.  All of the memories or experiences missed and forever lost.  That truly does break my heart, for they never asked to be a apart of this, they are however the unfortunate casualties because of it.

This brings me to my point – I believe from my own experiences that the concept of family should and needs to include friends – For me, my extended family of choice.

My friend Mary has been a fixture in our family for as long as I can remember.  An honourary Arsenault being as she has been spending Christmas Eve with us for decades now.  Mary and I met in High School and the friendship has never waned.  We have been prominent parts of each other’s lives with a friendship that has lasted over 30 years. We have seen each other through breakups, car crashes, deaths of our fathers, job wins and losses, pregnancy, medical emergencies and me being the Godmother to her two beautiful twin daughters.  I KNOW that if I need her, she will be there for me no questions asked and I for her.  We may not always agree on decisions we make and we will tell each other.  We are definitely not ‘Yes’ friends.  Nay we are sisters.  I guess what I am trying to get at is, family for me is ANY individual who will love, support and enrich my life unconditionally, no matter if they are ‘related’ or not.  I don’t need a blood connection, I need a heart connection for you to be my family.

I encourage you to take the time to tell those you who you consider YOUR family that you love and consider them to be your family, appreciating all that they do for you. Now is the best time to do this because tomorrow is never promised.

Thank you all once again for taking the time to read my ramblings every week and for supporting me in my crazy blogging journey!  But, before we go, let me ask you this, what is YOUR definition of family?  Are your close friends your family of choice?

I can’t wait to hear your feedback!

Until next time,

Love & Light Always

Dina xxoo

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