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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

We Are Family

by Eliana:

Eliana's Top 5 Life Moments
  1. Getting my driver's license in the early morning on my 16th birthday
  2. Moving out of my parents' home to go off to college
  3. The day my husband proposed to me
  4. Finding out I was pregnant with our first child
  5. An outdoor concert with my favorite band, standing close enough to touch the lead singer, on a perfect night as a surprise gift
Despite the first two items on my list, I consider myself close to my family. Yes, I live in a state where no one related to me lives (and it isn't a small state). Right now my nephew is staying with us while his parents work through a hideous divorce. It is challenging to say the least and we are the second family to have a turn with him.

For my husband, this is bizarre and something he can’t fathom happening in his birth family. To me it is simple—you do what needs to be done for family, even family that makes you crazy and you'd rather live far away from. One brother is helping with money, another lives nearby and can help with sudden crises. We are all in a lot more contact lately in the midst of drama and need than we were a few months ago. I expect that when the storm calms we will drift apart again—not from disagreement or fighting but because we each have our own lives.

So I'm asking today about your definition of family. To me, family is the even though: I will help you, even though you are crazy and make me crazy. Even though I know you are making bad choices, I will support your efforts at improvement. Even though. Forgiveness is a part of it certainly, as is fate and shared experience. For me even though is short hand for 'don't worry, I've got your back no matter what.'

And you, MMM or MMW, what is family to you? Not so much the technical logistics of who you count as family as what that bond means in your individual life. I'm curious, so thanks in advance.

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Eliana Osborn was raised on cold weather and wild animals in Anchorage, Alaska, setting the stage for her adult life in the Sunniest Place on Earth in Arizona. She grew up in the church and didn't know there were places where conformity was preached. She has degrees. She writes. She teaches. She has some kids. She even has a husband. She's trying to do her best.
 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gifImage credit: a.k.a Champagne for the Brain (used with permission).

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