Well, it’s that time again. Holidays have always been difficult for me in one way or another. When I was younger, being the daughter of a blind international drug dealer and a handicapped mother with MS, I knew our family wasn’t ‘typical’. Neither were our Thanksgivings. Because of my father’s line of work, our family was estranged from the rest of the family, so I didn’t have cousins, uncles, grandparents, etc. to visit. Also, With my mother in a wheelchair and my father blind, most of the cooking was left up to me, the only girl out of five brothers. I did alright, I think.
Then for two decades, I raised my own family, but that also didn’t come without awkwardness for me during the holidays. My ex-husband had a very big extended family. While he had no brother’s and sisters, he had parents, cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents and they made a big deal out of the holidays. I always wanted to just cook my own family meal, but every year we had to load up the car and go to his grandmother’s. I always felt like an outcast. I never heard from anyone, other than his parents, throughout the year, so the rest of the family were still strangers to me. I knew their names, their faces, but nothing else about them. I never felt accepted or wanted, certain the family believed I had forced my ex into marrying me because I got pregnant. While we didn’t have a romantic relationship, I probably had one of the best marriages in the world. We communicated, we shared responsibilities, and we good partners. But, family… his family wasn’t ever really my family.
Now, for the last five years I’ve been single and on my own, and there have been some really tough and lonely holidays. I don’t think the world realizes how hard it is for single, lonely people during these last few months. It’s like a daily reminder they’re not wanted, they’re not normal, they’re not living up to societal expectations. We don’t want to be a burden to others, yet we don’t want to be alone either. Last Thanksgiving I spent with my current boyfriend, but we happened to be broke up at that time. But, even though we were not ‘together’, I considered him and his sons my family and couldn’t imagine being with anyone else during that time other than my own children.
Well, here I am in 2017 and I’m looking forward to the holiday’s this year because I am surrounded by my chosen family, with people that fill my heart with love. My boyfriend and his sons are part of my soul. I love those boys as much as my own birth children. I love my boyfriend with a deepness of soul I’ve never experienced with anyone else before. My youngest daughter is now with me, and she’s pregnant with my first grandchild. My best friend, though we fight often, is also with me. I love her like a sister, a chosen sister.
I’m excited to cook the turkey and all the trimmings, to play the games, and to just ‘be’ with my family. I’m so thankful for them. I thank God everyday for bringing them into my life. We are not typical. We are not a normal family. We are not traditional. We are not like anything that can be adequately explained. Sometimes I cry because I’m overcome with a sense of family I NEVER had, not with my childhood family, not with my married family, no one. This is my chosen family and I love with them with everything I have in my heart and soul.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
Till next time,