The holidays are a time of year when people often want to spend time with their family and loved ones. I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with some of the people that mean the most to me.
The week before Thanksgiving, someone asked me if I was going home for the holiday. How do I define home? When I was five, my family moved from where my parents grew up, and where most of my family lives. A few years ago, my parents moved away from the home that I grew up in, which is where I consider “home”. I’m sure the person was asking if I was going to visit my parents for Thanksgiving, but I found it interesting thinking about what “home” means to me.
I told the person that I was spending the holidays with people I love. I was surprised when she commented that I wasn’t spending the holiday with family; I consider the people I spent the holiday with my family, even though we’re not related by blood.
I believe family consists of those people that you choose to spend your time with. They can be blood relatives, or family “of the heart” that are chosen throughout a lifetime. I don’t mean to imply that I don’t love my family, however, I do believe that my family extends well beyond blood lines to people that I have chosen to surround myself with and that I love very much.
This includes my “sister,” whom I’ve known for over twenty years. I don’t talk with her every day, and for that matter, months sometimes go by without contact. But when I consider whom I’d call in an emergency, and who would be there for me if I ever needed someone, she would be top on my list. I’m blessed to have her in my life, and we didn’t need to share a parent to be sisters of the heart.
I’m thankful for my family, and especially grateful for my extended family. These are the people whom I share my life and my heart with, not out of any obligation except that we choose to be there. In my book, that’s what family is all about.