What Is Family?

The other day my mother-in-law said something about being proud of how Baby Brother turned out. The comment struck me for two reasons - she's known me since I was BB's age, and she has been part of the family longer than he has. Of course she'd feel invested in BB - he's part of her family. (I think it's taken her about that long to realize, too.)

So it got me thinking about family. You've read about Cindi. I've always said the girl has created her own family, despite the fact that she has a large, close one of her own - 2 sisters, a brother and her mom, not to mention that her husband is one of 11 children. Still, Cindi draws people to her.

Our friend Lucinda is a single mom with grown children. That she's a rabid Spurs fan first drew Cindi, but that one common interest brought them close enough to buy season passes together, go on vacation together - and Lucinda and Cindi's mom even go on those benefit walks together.

Corrinna is another friend, a single woman with no family in town. Cindi's family has essentially adopted this woman - Corrinna has gone on vacation with Cindi's oldest sister, and has more influence than anyone we know on her middle sister.

When Cindi's oldest sister was going to have her first baby, the amnio indicated he had Down's Syndrome. Cindi's middle sister and I cried on the phone together as we thought about poor Maryanne's choices. (Maryanne had the baby, who is perfectly healthy and in 5th grade.)

Then there's the rest of our crew who meet every holiday, even though we're spread over the state. Patti, single and a vice principal in Austin, used to teach at our last school with us. She still shows up for every gathering, though she also has a large family of her own.

Norma is married with no kids, and her mom has Alzheimer's. She told us when we came to her dad's funeral that she knew who her friends were.

So that's what family is, y'all. People who are invested in you, who include you, who love you. I'm so happy to be part of Cindi's family.


(I have some great pictures of the crew, but no scanner, alas. You have to make do with Gerry.)

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Stacy Dawn said...

I agree, family isn't necessarily who you were born to but who you care about and who cares about you.

Stacy Dawn said...

Oops...and Happy Mother's Day!

Anonymous said...

You're right about the family, Mary! And have a Happy Mother's Day!

Trish Milburn said...

I totally agree with Stacy. Happy Mother's Day, Mary and all the other moms out there.

Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day, Mary :)

MJFredrick said...

Thanks, y'all. Kinda had family overload yesterday. Only 14 more alarm clocks till summer.


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I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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