I’ve been trying to write this post for the better part of a week. I’ve been thinking a lot about families both those that we are born with and those we make for ourselves as adults. Adults who live close to home and adults who live far from the places we grew up. I’ve been trying to think of something profound to say about families but everything I think of sounds cliche and cheesy. I guess the best thing to say is families are interesting, both kinds in different ways.
Last weekend I went to Wheeler along the Oregon Coast to visit my ex-husband’s Mom, her boyfriend, and her parents. My parents live two thousand miles away and my relationship with them is complicated. There are times when I am just grateful I live so far away, although, sometimes I wish they could be closer. Donna, my ex-husband’s Mom has kind of taken on a Mom role in my life. She had only boys and says she is so grateful to have a daughter. Her Mom introduced me to some of her friends as her grand-daughter. That was one of the nicest gifts I’ve had in a while. Her Dad is just a kick in the pants. His new thing after the whole “lipstick on a pig” bullshit was to say “it’s like whip cream on dog poop”
It’s one of the nicest things to be accepted as who you are in a family that is not biologically your own. My ex-husband’s adopted parents (yes, my ex is adopted but that story is another post) never once made me feel completely welcome in their home. I think on some level they tried but were incapable. For people who think Pope John Paul II was too liberal sometimes I was a bit much for them to accept.
We all have our own unique interactions with our biological families. Maybe because of proximity and time my biological family did not see me for who I am, they saw someone and continue to see someone but I dont know how much of that person they see is me. I dont know if that makes any sense at all. Maybe it’s because Donna, her boyfriend, and her parents see things in me that I dont see for myself. All I know is that with them I dont have to hide anything and I dont feel remorse or regret. Although all of us have not had the easiest lives there is no sorrow between us. I dont know if it’s as simple as love, it feels more complex than that. At the same time as it feels complex it also feels simple. Donna, her boyfriend, and her parents are just the people they are. They have no pretences and do not pretend to be anyone else, nor do they put on a different mask when I am around. When I am around I dont get the feeling that they are on their best behaviour. That it’s all a show or an act for me. Which relieves me the burden make everyone comfortable or trying to find a way to play a part in that kind of play. It’s very refreshing.
I feel very lucky. I have no idea what I did to end up so lucky but I am grateful for it and try not to take it for granted.