Family doesn’t have to be blood….
Since my mother’s passing in 2009, I haven’t returned home to Kentucky to visit. Yes. I do feel sad about this fact. No. It’s not an easy trip to make – for MANY reasons. Yes. I do love my relatives there. No. I don’t feel guilty.
My mother was a wonderful woman and her family loves me an enormous amount. And I love them! But I’ve noticed, the last few years of my life have been about my “created” family than my “given” one. I’ve been blessed with an amazing group of people who are friends but I would fight for them as if they’re related to me. Granted, this is a small group of people, but magnificent nonetheless in their friendship, love and meaning to my life. (You know who you are!!)
Back in December 2007, I visited Dawn’s parents (for the first time) with her and was a nervous wreck. I’d heard stories about her mother’s strong Russian personality and of her father’s military background. Not to mention how many family members there were that I would meet. Needless to say, my level of anxiety was extra high. This was odd because, as most of you know, I can usually talk to anyone!! I survived the visit, made a good impression and was so pleased with her wonderful group of aunts, uncles, cousins and of course, her mom and dad.
But, on this 2nd visit to my in-laws in Pennsylvania, I was absolutely BLOWN away with the open-armed welcoming committee!! Her mom and dad drove through a horrible rainstorm after dark to pick us up at Pittsburgh airport and I got the biggest hug from them both! Wow! I was a little taken aback as well as emotionally surprised. It had been 6 years since I’d seen them and a bit over 3 years since Dawn had been home to visit them. Her mom and sister came to visit us in Cali the summer of 2012 so I had at least gotten to see them in the interim.
This entire week has been everything amazing: comfortable, warm, loving, funny, welcoming, open and wonderful. I couldn’t have asked for a better time spent than what we had. Yes. I miss my family in Kentucky. No. I didn’t stress & drive 8 hours in cruddy weather to go see them. Yes. They know I love them. No. Dawn’s family doesn’t take their place.
They ADD to the love I feel from my whole “family”…