There’s nothing like a wedding to make you reflect on your life, right? (Or, maybe that’s just me and the rest of you are like, “Uh, weddings mean cake and free beer, yo!”) This weekend I stood up for one of my best friends as she married the love of her life, and I’m telling you, I did NOT stop crying.
And, here’s a little secret. Mostly, I was crying of happiness. But, sometimes I was crying because 1) I know I’ll never see my babies get married, and that sucks, and 2) I just absolutely adore this family, and I kinda sorta wish I was actually a part of it.
I have always wished I could be part of a big family, or even have a big family of my own. I wanted lots of siblings, and a crazy uncle to do ridiculous things at Thanksgiving dinner for me to complain about. My husband and I both have pretty small families, and we’re not really close with anyone except our tiny, nuclear family. Holidays are usually just us and our tiny little group.
What’s hard as you grow into an adult with your own children is that you want them to know their family! Our extended families have never even really met my kids, except through social media. I think about my own mom, who makes sure to care for her cousins and aunts and great aunts and I think…my kids will never know them. We don’t live close, and it’s not convenient, and there’s a myriad of other excuses I could give you, but really, none of us are trying too hard.
I think that many of you with big families are probably reading this and going, “Gurllll, you should be thankful you don’t have to put up with crazy Uncle Joe and his drunken monologues over a burnt turkey with my cousin’s racist boyfriend spewing insults.” I totally get it. Grass is always greener, right?
I do, however, know this big family. And they humble me every. day. I don’t know that I’ve ever met anyone who has so many loyal friends as this family. They have taken me in, making me feel so special, and loved, and kind of like an honorary member. Everyone I was introduced to over the weekend went like this, “This is Christy. We love her. You totally will, too,” and I was greeted with a GIANT, GENUINE hug. Do you know the kind of hug I’m talking about? The REAL hug. A hug with meaning. Where you can feel the love and acceptance coming right through it.
It was like this with everyone. How does one family have so many friends who are so genuinely kind? Well, they are genuinely kind. They are fiercely loyal, and brave, and they so deserved this weekend of pure love and happiness.
Reflecting back on my own wedding, almost 11 years ago, now, it’s hard to think about some of the friendships and relationships that have been lost throughout the years. I know that’s normal, and expected. We grow and change.
But, mostly, it makes me think about the word family. And you know what? I have seen all the memes and read all the quotes about it, but I have finally decided that it’s totally true. Family is MUCH more than just the people you are related to. As we grow, we create our own families. Our friends are also our family. And I am so lucky-even though I wish for a closeness with my relatives that I don’t always have, I have family everywhere.
I think of my people. The ones who have been here, by my side, through every sad or happy event. Those who reach out to me over and over to make sure I’m ok. How lucky am I? I mean, come on!
I totally do have a big family. It’s made up of all sorts of people I’ve dragged along with me as I navigate through life. And sometimes we kind of grow apart, and back together, but we still grow. And the pastor reminded me during his words that there is NO way we can stop the bad stuff from happening. We just can’t. But, we can make sure that we have people there to support us through it all. Together, you can make it!
Like I always say. We’ve got this, yo. We’ve got this!