Family. The oldest story in the book, yet endlessly retold, reinterpreted and revised. I, for one, am quite fond of the notion; a group of people inherently drawn to each other by ties of blood, sense of duty and most importantly affection. It doesn’t always go that way, I concur, but the idea remains the same: togetherness, a constant unity in an inconstant world.
Constance has never really been a comforting reality in my life, everyone I’ve known has come and gone, appeared one day to only disappear the next, and that’s even true for family. I have wandered from one cocoon to a neighboring one, seeking some sort of stable nest, embracing ties that wouldn’t break…too soon. Family, they say, never leaves you, and unfortunately that isn’t so far from the truth. They may drift away or die, they’ll always accompany us one way or another; I hold my grandmother in my heart, my grandfather in my mind, my uncle in every person suffering from cancer, my cousin in every child marked as missing. Family is like washing machine lint, it sticks in the most unlikely places, and though it sometimes may feel sticky and unwanted, it’s there, it exists, and through it, we do too. We are the jumbled mess of our kinships and genealogical lineage, the merry mayhem of our socially imposed, happily betrothed, disturbingly composed units, and it’s nothing short of wonderful.
From a very young age I was shown that family doesn’t stop at bloodlines and history, for that would only make it a piece of the past; family is the expression of the future, a continuous journey paving our lives forward. How else would you explain adoption and the unconditional love one can bestow upon a once total stranger? And what about marriage, a wife or a husband are the adult and non incestuous like version of the latter, two individuals from different worlds coming together in a (hopefully) chosen union. Last but not least comes friendship, a roller-coaster relationship between like-minded people that were naturally meant to coexist.
I’ve had a myriad of “friends” over the years, people I shared kindergarten secrets with, people I played house with, people I consoled after breakups and bad grades, people I’ve partied with…and people I’ve loved. I smile when I think of everyone I once called a friend, a sister, a brother, family; I can’t say I didn’t try to have constance in my hustling bustling insane life, it was just a short-lived journey, a treasured experience archived yet unforgotten.
To be truthful, family to me is like bittersweet candy, an addictive ephemeral pleasure I don’t expect much from, but dive into heart first, head later. Will you be my family today?