I’ve been thinking a lot about family lately. Or, more accurately, what makes family. There’s biology, of course, or sometimes legal unions. But that makes relatives, which is not necessarily the same thing.
And, as I most always do, when I dwell too long on the topic of family, I also begin to dwell on my mom, and how much I really wish she was still around. In this particular instance, because I think there are still some lessons I need her to teach me.
She was one of those people who could make family out of anybody; she had a way of cultivating genuine love and concern for people, and people returned that affection. But she also had a way of making actual family feel like it was important to belong to that select group—knowing that there was always a safe haven in any sort of storm, and being grateful for that sort of security.
Now it seems maybe I took that too much for granted; maybe I didn’t realize that those sorts of feelings don’t happen naturally, that they have to be coaxed and tended and cherished. But, having realized that, I fear that it may be too late, that maybe I didn’t recognize it soon enough, and some relationships are already lost. Or, maybe sometimes “family” is only one way; that’s possible, even if it’s not ideal. I’m not sure, and I’ll probably never be sure, not entirely. All I know for certain is that family matters to me, and you can bet I’ll be thinking even more, trying to figure out what it might take to make it important to others.