The power of family – where hope resides

Very few people understand my relationship with my family, and very few people have made it to the category of family for me that are outside of my blood relatives, but for those of you that have, I hope that you have begun to understand the power of family, especially when it is like mine.

When I wake up in the morning I get dressed, go to work and wait, I wait for the most convenient time to call a) my parents – I don’t want to disturb them too early b) My oldest sister – she has kids to wrangle every morning so I give her time to get situated c)my big bro – his job being so demanding I try not to call during lunch so he actually takes a break and instead I opt to interrupt him in the middle of the afternoon or catch him on his walk home d) my next sister – her challenging schedule as a doctor and the two hour time difference makes it hard to catch her! and e) my best friends – including the man I love, and a handful of select people that have left such stagerring footprints on my heart that not to call them family would be doing them a disservice. These are the people I love like family, argue with like family, and go to when I need or can give support.

It’s nuts, right? I spend most of my day connecting, to people, to these people. My inner circle. People I meet and often those special members of my family of choice tell me that they “never talk to their parents” or they call their siblings on holidays. Their inflection often indicates that what I am doing is somehow crazy. I spend too much time. I spend too much energy. I tell those critics that if the worst thing you can say about my family is that we care too much then we are pretty lucky. Don’t get me wrong, we fight like any other family. We annoy each other, we push each others buttons. But at the end of the day we are there, for one another. We keep each other on track, don’t let each other screw up. We are accountable to ourselves but more importantly to the family.

At this point in my life and moving forward into the future, past the days where Herbert occupies my energy, they are the biggest blessing. My family, given and of choice. The people I care about innately and fully. Whether it is the complete devotion of a Dad to making his daughter better or a Mom whose beautiful spirit fills a home with hope and joy to the friends and siblings that call and sit on the phone with you quietly, when there are just no words. These are the people that make life what it is.

My life has been very confusing of late but one thing I have always known and always will know is that I am so blessed (if there is such a thing as being blessed) to have the people in my life I do. That somehow the universe gave me a family as amazing as this? Can it be real? I can’t and won’t and don’t feel sorry for myself when I have them. When they are around. They are my cure. Suck it Herbert, you are just jealous!

I guess for me they are a reminder to all of us to love a bit more fully. To recognize what we have before we can’t recognize it anymore. To be accountable to the people around us. To care. So many people have shown me so much love. Not just since we found Herbert, but always. I will pay it forward. And back. I will pay it all around. No brain tumor can stop me from who I am – my family taught me that.

Peace and love –

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