My sister sent me this. We were close immediately, and then later we were not. Our dad died, and I think that changed things quite a bit for her, and later our lives went in very different directions. As my life does in relation to anyone else's life, which is just the reality of this hell. Of knowing only hell. And trying to write my way out of it. Later, should I leave this hell-on-earth behind, while I remain on earth, there can be more overlap, commonality, shared instances of joy and celebration. Family. Though perhaps not "family" in manner the word is commonly meant.
Family might not be the constant we often need to think it is. Obviously, for people from difficult family situations, it's not, but I'm thinking about how often I see people remark that family is everything, the constant that matters beyond anything else.
I think it more commonly becomes that for some people when little is risked, and lives stick to familiar paths, and people tend to be similar. Often, less is not more, but less is what is agreed upon.
I confess that I'm not someone who says, "Family is everything," but I don't think that makes me some beast. What I believe is "everything," if you will, is true goodness, beauty, truth, life lived as deeply as one can live it, the search for meaning, trying to help people even if they behave towards us in ways that we might not deserve, the daily challenge to grow, and taking people as what they are, loving them for who they are. Can that incorporate family? Of course. But I give my love based upon who someone is, what something is.
That's how love is for me. It's not a fait accompli. It's not determined by labels, statuses of birth. I don't think it's common. In fact, I think real love is exceedingly rare. Do I have any in my life? No, I might not right now. Can I? I hope so. I'd like to think so.
As for my sister and myself, we've become closer than in a long time, though I'm pretty sure this isn't textbook baby-holding happening in this photo. Taken from Mansfield.