Friday, December 19, 2008

family matters

I was born to two wonderful, ambitious, loving, women who did everything in their power to give me the best life possible. I never met my father, and spent the first part of my life wondering what it would be like to have a "real" family, which, in my eyes, didn't consist of a struggling mother and a dying grandmother. My nana is the person I spent the most time with as a child, in a world that consisted of tea parties, cabbage patch dolls, and lung cancer. She died when I was seven and my family got even more abnormal. My mom worked several jobs to give me a life in a safe environment, and did her best to raise me on her own. I always wondered what it was like to have brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, multiple sets of grandparents, and many cousins. Apart from my mom and grandma, the only other family member I knew was my cousin, who was nine years older than me and had no interest in hanging out with me, because apparently when youre a seventeen year old boy its not cool to play barbies with your little cousin. I'm bitter. At least I was bitter for a long time. Then the boyfriends entered the picture. The random men that symbolized that my mom had moved on from my dad, the men who drove cool cars and bought me whatever I wanted and some had kids and some liked to cook little mermaid sandwiches and life just got SO GOOD... until my mom mentioned that these men wanted to be her husband, and all hell broke loose in my mind, because ohmygod for the first time EVER I would have to share my beloved mother. Tragedy, tragedy.

Soon Jay was added into the equation. I remember very few things about the day I met the man who would someday legally adopt me, the man I now call Dad. The first thing, is that I hated him. He was a short, bearded, man with a Harley and really good manners, and I wanted nothing to do with him. I did my best leave a lasting impression on him during dinner, and was banned to the kitchen. He won my heart through Monday Night Disney Marathons and taking me to baseball games.

Not long after, The Day I Waited For My Whole Life happened. My infertile, 46 year old mom, sat me down at TGI Friday's and handed me a ducky rattle. WTF? The next words that came out of my mother's mouth I will never forget, "Honey, I'm pregnant." My thoughts were a jumble, and I couldn't even fathom what was happening to my world. It was a mixture of OMG I'm going to have a brother or sister, and OMG I'm going to have a brother or sister. I was eleven, and the thought of this happening was crazy. Like, what was she thinking???

Fortunately, several months later my little Olivia made her debut into a world that will never be ready for her. The sister I waited my whole life for was here and I was SO excited to have her. She has completely changed my life in so many ways. She has tested my patience by "painting her nails" on my carpet, and stolen my heart with her infinite wisdom and many gifts. The girl is good at everything. She is a hilariously funny straight a student with a zeal for life and a desire to follow Jesus. She is, by far, the coolest person I've ever met.

So, this is was my whole entire family, and it was a good one. We put the fun in dysfunctional. From these people I have learned how to be a person, and how not to be. Mostly I have learned resilience, and that it isnt the circumstances that you are given that count, but how you deal with what youve been dealt. My dream has always been to have a big family, but I became satisfied with these three.

Until I met him. I married the love of my life in 2007, and acquired 5 new siblings, countless aunts and uncles, grandparents, and a mother in
law who is totally ridiculous, but whom I absolutely adore. She has become one of my greatest supports, and has been a mom to me more times than I can count. I now have the most adorable little sisters and brothers in the whole world, and a wonderful father in law. I also have a wonderful Tia who is the big sister I never had and one one of my favorite people in the whole world.

I have been blessed, with a huge, loving, passionate, hilarious, gifted, complicated, wonderful family and I wouldnt have it any other way. Love them to the moon and back.

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