Watching a family work together and stay connected and love each other with no drama or unrealistic expectations is a beautiful thing. Granted I get that there are always things within every family unit..no family is perfect. But some families have a better go at things and genuinely like each other and want to be connected.
I always wanted that. And I get to watch it from afar via a Facebook Family Group chat I was included in. My father’s family. All one million of them. A big family..even more impressive with so many different personalities that they mesh so well together. I don’t participate much because I’m the late comer to this group. And I understand to some I am very much a stranger and bastard child. At least my grandfather felt that way. I’m not a fan of stepping on toes or being somewhere I’m not wanted..but the majority have been very kind to me and I wish they knew how much that means to me. I didn’t get a choice of whom I was brought up by or around. I would have preferred to know my father and his side of the family. It might have been confusing to me as a child..being in entirely two different households. I know which I would have preferred so maybe I was spared the added agony of wanting to be with my dad and not having a choice about that. But I deserved to be. With him. I deserved that. I would have loved that.
But life happens and people make choices and as soon as I was able to find him I was able to make my own choices. And now I get to see what a family looks like. A functional family not weighed down by generations of abuse and neglect. It is a wonder to behold in moments. I feel like I’m on a safari in moments watching these unfamiliar and exotic animals walk around living their best lives freely and together out on the wide open plains. They have family zoom meetings. They collect money for family who has passed. They make holiday plans. They celebrate birthdays together and graduations and it’s just so…nice. And normal. Super, extra, beautiful normal.
I feel gratitude I even know who my father is. Maybe the most deepest gratitude I have is for even knowing who he is and being able to speak to him on a regular. I may not have..had I not been the person I am. If I had thought it hopeless to find him. If I had simply accepted I wouldn’t. Had I been born someone else with a different brain..I easily could of went my entire life never knowing who my father is. But I have a gift of research and finding things. Finding people. Questioning and problem solving. Nothing is impossible to me. Nothing. There is always a way inside my head and it took that inside of me to solve this riddle. Had I simply not been born who I am..I may have never of known.
So I watch them and admire their unity. I don’t know if I feel completely a part of them. I might never. I think I would have had to be raised with them all around for roots to establish themselves that way. But I know I come from them and I’m proud of that. I won the family jackpot in that way. They are everything good about my home state and the people who live and are raised there. My father…like me…didn’t want to stay and needed to explore the world but somehow ended back there part time. This I get. This would be my ideal existence too. One foot in WI…one foot anywhere else. I get this. And I’m so grateful I get to know this about him. I get to feel like I belong somewhere with someone. That I came from someone whom I am very much like. And I get to see his family..my family…and watch how they connect with each other. I am grateful beyond words for this little window into their world.