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Introducing, my family!  Well, most of them.  Some have passed.  Some were sick.  One of my sisters lives in Idaho with her family.  We got to pass around a new baby this year.  His daddy died before he was born, but his wonderful Grandpa and Grandma brought him along and he belongs to all of us now.

When I was younger, I had the notion that family was concrete.  These were your people.  For always.  There were those Christmases when all the cousins were small, and everything was fun and perfect.  Except for the things that weren’t.  I imagined our kids would all grow up as friends and keep in touch.  Which they sort of do.  Except for the ones who don’t.

Expanding And Contracting

The last few years, I’ve been slowly learning about family as flow.  As a fluid unit.  Our big-ish family is in a constant state of expanding and contracting.  There have been divorces and deaths.  Lots of little babies have been born and are mostly grown-up now. There is joy and sorrow.  Some of this we celebrate together and some of it we tuck away tightly.  Mostly we are close even though some of us don’t see each other for long periods of time.

I Am Incredibly Lucky

These are the people that I love and drive crazy.  They are among my beloved and they make me crazy too.  These dear humans rallied around in support and care when Jacob and I both had cancer.  They are the ones that have helped me move all the 4 times since I moved back to Washington.

I know this makes me incredibly lucky. 

Families are complicated structures.  You take a bunch of different types of people, who share a common history and who are always changing.  All of these people have their own separate thoughts and opinions, despite whatever the family rules once were.  Of course, there will always be those who followed said rules and would like them to remain firmly in place.  Take all of these intricate, separate, united lives and set them against the backdrop of culture, politics, and public health, and it’s a miracle we subscribe to the family unit at all anymore.  Some people don’t.

And so, once again, I know this makes me incredibly lucky.

It’s All Ok

At this point there are a hundred different things I could say.  My mind is running in all sorts of directions wanting to tell this story and that.  To acknowledge these experiences and those ones.  But as I quiet myself, and ask what my soul would like to say, it is this:  It’s all ok.  We will all find our ways home eventually.  And whoever is there to greet us, that’s our family.

If you are celebrating life with your people, or you’re tucked away tightly, if you are held in support and love, or if you long to find your family, and your way home, let’s stick together, and be friends~

PS Of the sixteen people in our picture, one is a baby, one is me, and 5 of the rest them read my posts every day.  Thank you. Thank you.  And thank you again, G, S, G, Mom, and M.

I am so very grateful~

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