Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Family of wild flowers
“Bloom where you’re planted” (is a distillation of )1 Corinthians 7:7-24. A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver, Proverbs 25:11 NIV
I have my own views on religion, but those verses have always had very special meaning for me religion aside.
In our lives we are born into a family. Some people spend their lives living with or near a small family or a large extended family. Some people retain strong connections with their families despite them being scattered about the globe, while others have loose connections or no connection. Other people are abandoned and raised by an adoptive family. Some never have any sort of family dynamic we can comprehend, like street people but they have their family nonetheless.
The family dynamic I am pondering is the created family. I’ve gathered a family much as you would gather wild flowers. They are a beautiful arrangement in a favorite vase, proudly displayed. Hopefully you also have a family like this; if not…you are woefully missing out! I have a fine family. We (husband and son aside) are scattered about, but do try to keep in touch. There is nothing wrong with my Husband, Son, Sister, Mom, Uncles, Aunts, cousins…etc; but they aren’t my only family.
I started creating my own familial reality in elementary school when I proclaimed someone to be my long lost sister. Over the years I’ve collected many wild sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts….etc. I have a brother, a few cousins, a sister or two and surrogates for mom, uncles, aunts and grandparents. I also have the family I’ve created with my husband son and cat. The bonds I’ve formed with my gathered family mean a lot to me. They have at times been my only tether to sanity. They understand different facets of my life and have been there for me throughout various stages of my growth or regression.
I do love my natural family very much, but sometimes my family doesn’t always connect with me on the level a cobbled together family can. I know my family has their core group of pseudo family also, so I won’t feel totally terrible if they read this. They should know exactly what I mean. I spend hours chatting with my brother/cousin (whatever) His place in my heart goes deeper than “just a friend”. One of my sisters is around 10 years older. My surrogate Mom never had any children, so I fill a need for her too. I have others sisters and cousins all united for different reasons. I truly love these people and if I were to lose them I would be devastated but eventually cope. The void of their loss would be huge; their places could never truly be filled just like a natural family member passing away or becoming estranged. The family I’ve created is as real to me as my own natural family.
In my cobbled together family we have each other’s backs, we defend one another, we support one another, we virtually hug each other. When one of us is hurting we ache for them and do our best to support each other with comedy, prayers, sunny-funny stories, bad songs, dirty jokes, tears and hugs to the best of our ability. My created family is also friends with my son and husband. Transparency is important to me and I want them to know about my immediate family since they are now members of my family.
This brings me to why I started out my entry with a bible quote and a distillation of several verses. We grow where we are planted. Our roots reach down and find purchase in the soil. Sometimes our seed gets carried far away from the garden of our natural family. When and where we land we reach out to find the plants nearest us in type or perhaps very opposite our type, we see eye to eye on some key points, those points bring them into our garden. Perhaps my little seed is incorporated into their garden. Some of my burgeoning family members are really not who you’d ever suspect I would have a thing in common with…but I still love those ornery uncles, the very liberal uncles, the wild and free sisters, the shy yet strong sisters, the strong intelligent brothers. When things get low, and there are times that things do get low emotionally (son is 13 need I say more!), my wildflower family knows what I need to hear, not what I want to hear. We are honest with each other and we help each other. We give good and bad advice. We don’t all see eye to eye on our decisions. If my opinion is asked I will chime in as a good family member should, but I’m not offended if they don’t take my advice. My apples may not be what they need right then, but maybe they will need them later.
I hope this post makes sense…it’s a thank you to all my extended family…my family in many nations, my family I may never meet, my family who lifts me up when I am down…..my wonderful garden of family
Thank you all my lovely flowers!!