I had posted this in May, but during this holiday season I think it bears a repost (with updates):
It’s interesting sometimes how families come together. Some people have their parents and grandparents together their whole lives. Some people have blended or step-families (like me). I have virtually no relationship with my biological father, but a fantastic relationship with my step-father.
I have a son by my first marriage (who has no relationship with his father) and two amazing bonus (step) children from my second marraige. We have a "foster" son and a few months ago I found my birth son that I gave up for adoption 29 years ago. This relationship is a new one and we are both feeling our way through things.
I have a best friend (of more than 30 years) that is the sister I never had. I’ve got two brothers that I love but rarely get to see, although we do connect by phone as often as our lives allow and a step-brother but I talk to his wife more than him. I have various cousins, uncles and aunts from my parents side that I never see and rarely communicate with.
I have a couple of great sisters-in-law, a brother-in-law, 10 nieces & nephews and somewhere around 20 great-nieces and nephews (I’ve lost count) that I get to see often. And that semi-foster son and his wife have given us two wonderful grandchildren (so far).
My whole point is that family is sometimes related by blood but not always. Proximity is important but not critical – it’s the relationships that matter, it’s the love that counts. I am truely blessed with a wonderfully diverse family.
I learned a hard lesson over the summer when my sister's husband died suddenly. Cherish your family, tell them you love them and keep them close because today may be the only time you have. I am thankful.