The prompt this week is: What does family mean to me?
Up until my twenties I was an only child. I lived with my mum and dad who had had their share of marital disputes but were still together. When they divorced when I was 21 I think it's safe to say that it was a shock to everyone, including them. I had lived a sheltered, close knit family life. I think that divorce is difficult at any age but at 21 I was set in my ways. I had never imagined that my family dynamics would change.
My Dad moved abroad to Czech Republic and he has since remarried and had another child. My little brother Daniel is 3 weeks older than JC.
My Mum remarried and I gained 2 step sibings, Kate (21 yrs) and Shaun (18 yrs).
These weren't the only changes. The ripple in the pond of divorce touches everyone in a family so there was disruption among the grandparents, extended family and close friends.
I went on to make my own family too. I got married and gained in-laws and then went on to have JC.
So in a nutshell, family means more than blood to me.
I have learned that the value of family lies in being there for each other regardless of blood ties. It's about being patient and recognising that we are all different and that nobody is perfect. It's about celebrating the good and accepting the bad bits. It's a living organism that is dynamic and ever changing.
It really wasn't until I had my own child that I understood a mother's love - which I wrote about here.
I love my family, warts and all. It's not always easy but I am blessed to have each and everyone of them enriching my life.