The Family Who Stays

Family, is family. We don't choose the family we are born into. We don't choose the folks we are biologically connected with. No matter what you do, parts of them are with you. I understand strained familial relationships. I understand making choices to not have someone in your life for your own safety and well being. My biological father is alive and seemingly well and the last time I called him, it was to make sure of this. But it is a choice I make to abstain from any further relationship with the him because I remember events in my early childhood which he seems to take no responsibility for. I cannot have him in my life as it stands now. And I, being the protective mother bear that I can be, have even less interest in him knowing anything about my son and our life. It is significantly healthier this way. Still, I recognize that the Italian blood that I have running through my veins is just as much part of me as anything else, and that is from him. In this sense, while he my biological father, choosing to not have him in my life or the life of my son is most assuredly wise and safe. Putting aside extraordinary circumstances such as this though, when a relationship like that threatens the health and well-being of a person, family is family. And it is not always a pretty, beautiful place to behold. It can be downright ugly. It can be a downright degradation. And this, I have known and seen as well.

I have known family in the sense of communities of people whose hearts take you right in and make you apart of their collective tribes. It seems that I am apart of many, and for that I am constantly amazed and filled with gratitude about. I think that is what is beautiful about acceptance. Most people want to be accepted. Perhaps in some regard, we all do. And we all do without conditions. We all want acceptance no matter what, without judgement. In the way that Christ accepts people, this is how we are to accept others. Without qualms. Without our two sense. Without our commentary on how they should live or speak or act or live the life they live. Communities just open up their arms and welcome people in. We may not choose our families, but we have chosen each other. And it is one of the most beautiful things there is to behold. Beautiful, diverse, inclusive, acceptance. 

On that same note, biological family is family. Through good and bad, old fights and old ugly problems, we still run the same blood through our veins. I am here to say that I have had both familial communities and my blood family, who against all odds, remain. Who are quick to step in and support no matter what, as much as they can. I don't always understand them my family. I will never agree with everything, and that's okay. We don't have to. Some of us nurse scars from what once was. But you see what we get to see now?  There is light of redemption that shines through.

At the end of the day, past or present hurts aside, they are always still there. 

Sometimes I guess, the color of our family is love. Even if we can't always say it. Even if it has a past. Even if we have disagreements in the present. Love still reaches out and says, "I'm here for you even if I don't always like you."

And the fact that no matter what, when, or where in life I stand, this biological un-picture perfect family of mine is a family who stays and who remains. Gosh, I am so soundly grateful for that.