Our family. We are a strange clan of characters making our way through life sharing DNA and toothpaste. Borrowing money and divvying up marshmallows . Inflicting pain and hugging to heal it all in the same moment.
We love, laugh, fight and defend. At times we struggle to figure out just what the common thread is that binds us all together.
It isn't blood. When we married each of us brought two biological children to the table. His daughter and son, my two sons and a "daughter" who became family by default. Our five have grown, married and multiplied - this month we morphed into a family of 24! Five children, their spouses/partners, their children and their step-children. All part of this thing I lovingly call "Our Clan".
I am now the Matriarch of this ragtag bunch. And I find myself using terms like "young people" and "good, clean fun" when referring to the activities of my grandchildren. When did I become my Great-grandmother?!
But the thing is, when I look at my life, my greatest happiness-es are our family happiness-es. Each and every milestone takes on new meaning for me. Babies being born. Wee ones starting kindergarten. Older ones going to Prom, off to college and getting engaged.
Our family - our Clan - is a circle of love and strength. With every birth, union and milestone the circle grows. Every joy shared adds to the love we all feel for each other. Every obstacle faced makes our growing circle stronger.
I didn't choose this family - they are God's gift to me. The bond that links us is not entirely blood - it is the love and joy we bring to each other.
Together we make a family!