This past weekend I visited my hometown; my parents, grandparents and one of my oldest friends.  Oldest meaning length of friendship, obviously, not her age.  This is a friend I grew up with.  Caught toads with.  Attempted to dress kittens in doll clothes with.  Danced the Nutcracker in the living room with.  She’s one of several friends who are like family.

I learned early on that there are two kinds of family; the one we are born into and the one we choose.  I grew up calling two sets of my parent’s close friends aunt and uncle.  One of their daughters is still an extremely close friend today (Pictured above – circa late 70’s early 80’s.  She’s rockin’ the smile, me the shocked open mouth.)  Visiting with these “aunts,” “uncles” and “cousins” feels like coming home.  It’s easy and peaceful and comfortable.

I am grateful that I get along exceedingly well with my biological family, and my married into family.  This is something I try hard not to take for granted, because it is a luxury that so many people do not have.  I find myself hoping that anyone without this luxury has chosen for themselves a loving and supportive “family.” 

After all, it’s  things like celebrating  accomplishments and comforting broken hearts that really connect us.  And we can certainly share these things whether we share the same eye color, straight nose and tiny divit in our chin, or not.

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