This is me with some of the members of my family, two of my siblings. I feel deeply connected to both of them, and when I think of the word, family, I think of them, among others in my life. I also, through the years, have had many different friends and community connections.
The definitions for both have seemed to be pretty cut and dry in my life; my family were those persons that I was biologically connected to through birth or lineage, and some chosen family members; and friends were those persons that I hadn’t known until we had entered each other’s lives. Seems pretty simple, right?
Well, fast forward to the last year of my life. I have been separated from my partner for a full year now, and we have been living apart for several months. And, I have had a specific vision and hope for what we would evolve into with one another as we went forward, to parent our daughter and to also hold value in one another’s lives. It seemed simple, right?
Not so simple.
Besides the reluctance to put some type of label on it, besides “ex”, I felt compelled to create something new with her that was showing signs of healing and growth for both of us. I have known all along that I do not want her to leave my life. She is important to me and I care about what happens to her.
Something interesting happened for me this week in working to figure this out. It dawned on me, that as I went about, trying to find the right way for us to be in existence with one another, I had overlooked the one constant, besides our daughter, that would be true for both of us.
We will always be family.
I don’t just mean, family for our shared child. I also mean, family as in the importance that each of our individual families still have for the other. Family, in that, we grew up together in many ways, and shared many things with one another. Family, in that, I always want to be there for her in some capacity, and have her be there for me.
So, even though it might go against the grain, and even create a level of misunderstanding for others around us, the best way that I will always be able to describe what we are to one another, is as family. And that is so powerful and meaningful to me.