Family has always been important to me. I realize that doesn’t make me special or unique, but it’s true nonetheless. I have had many friends and acquaintances throughout my life, but when I feel that familial bond with someone it makes it that much more important. And I don’t mean the people that share the same bloodlines as I do. After all, if you go back far enough you’ll find that we all have the same blood pumping through our veins. Before we educated ourselves, bloodlines mattered more than associations.
An old friend taught me a lot about what family really means. In many ways she was a completely different person than her adopted father. They looked different, spoke differently, acted differently, came from vastly different backgrounds, and had distinctly different interests. But she loved that man beyond measure. She was never apologetic about him and never afraid to show it. It was genuine familial love and it wasn’t based on blood.
Family bonds transcend family names or marital contracts. I consider many of my friends to be as close as family. Some of my friends are closer to me than people with my last name. In an increasingly diverse society, it pays to not have such a limited definition of what a family can be.