Over the weekend, I witnessed a beautiful union of friendship, luv, respect, companionship, truthfulness, and security and was honored to be a part of it alongside friends and family. As everyone gave their speeches and congratulated the couple on their union and as the bride and groom thanked everyone, it got me to thinking what it means to be a family. According to Merriam – Webster family is:
- “a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household.
- a group of people related to one another by blood or marriage.
- the children of a person or couple.
- a person or people related to one and so to be treated with a special loyalty or intimacy.
- a group of people united in criminal activity.
- Biology – a principal taxonomic category that ranks above genus and below order, usually ending in -idae (in zoology) or -aceae (in botany).
- group of objects united by a significant shared characteristic.
- Mathematics – a group of curves or surfaces obtained by varying the value of a constant in the equation generating them.
- all the descendants of a common ancestor.”
However, none of the definitions speak of friends being family.
I come from a huge family, I have 11 aunts and uncles and 40+ cousins…and that’s just in Maryland. I am not including those in other states because the numbers would increase tremendously and still wouldn’t change the fact I feel closest to a single handful of my fam. For some of my family members, I feel like we are associates more than anything. Don’t get me wrong, I luv my family and wouldn’t trade them for the world however, there are times when it feels as if my handful of family and my handful of friends are the only family I have. I have friends who would go to the end of world and back for me and I them, when some of my family would rather take advantage.
So, as I witnessed the union over the weekend and listened to the bride speak of her friends being her family, again, I realized definitions are frameworks to be enhanced by one’s interpretation of their life. In this instance, she spoke of bonds between her best friends who when told that she was getting married, they stepped up and asked “what do you need from me?” Their joy and excitement for her happiness surpassed what she expected and that spoke volumes during the event. Those who are mother’s to other’s became her adoptive mother in a single moment, and “sister’s in law” lost the “in law” title because they are more than what society has deemed her to be, instead she became a true sister/and supporter. And, the wondering of why “true” family did not receive invitations faded away from my mind and an understanding of her definition of family became the truth. This was and is not to say that she luvs her family any less than she luvs her friends; rather to say, family comes in many forms. She chose those have always been there to support, luv, guide and nurture her to be there to witness her union.
As I end, family is what you make of it, friends, unions (marriage), pets, and/or your true family as defined by Webster. After seeing a different definition of the word “family,” I have come to respect all aspects of what my family is the good, the bad, the ugly, the dysfunctional, and the wonderful.