This is something I struggle with all the time. Family. There are some family I love, and some I…well I have to use the word hate. There’s this agreed upon rule that family is everything. I’ve always had a hard time with that. I believe that family is what it wants to be.
Dee and I were talking last night about our real family. And I don’t mean those of the same bloodline. I mean the people who you consider family. The people who you would do anything for, and who you know you can count on. your closest friends, your partners and loved ones. These people are not always from your family. Does this make them less important?
I have a grandparent who I very much dislike. Most of the memories I have of her are awful. Now that she’s aging and not doing well, it’s the ‘job’ of the family to look after her. Everyone hates doing it, its an inconvenience, and there is no real plus side to it. On the other side, my other grandparent who is about the same age and in a home, is absolutely lovely and it’s not a chore to go and visit. It’s like night and day.
So I ask you this. If you had a family member who was abusive, physically or verbally, anything, would you consider them someone deserving of your respect just because you share the same blood? Now compare that to the friend that helped you through it all. They went with you to the hospital. They held you when you cried to sleep. They gave you a place to stay when you were at your worst. Isn’t that person much more deserving of your respect?
Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. I’m just saying that I believe that if someone is not deserving of your love and respect, it shouldn’t be mandatory that they get it. Blood is not always thicker than water. Sometimes it’s the water you can count on to live and love. Besides, we can’t help the family we’ve been born into, but we can choose our friends.