You left me to sink.

Don’t let the title of this post fool you; I’m actually not at all sad. It’s a song lyric and I didn’t know what else to write… I have about a half an hour to myself for the first time this week, so I thought I’d use it to write a quick blurb about what’s been on my mind.

My sister is getting so big now. Part of me is really saddened by it because I can remember holding her as a baby and to me, that doesn’t seem like that long ago. But to her, it might as well have been a million years ago. For the most part, though, I’m really excited for her to grow up. She’s so beautiful and smart and I know that the things she accomplishes as she grows will be absolutely amazing. I’m proud of my baby sister. Even though I’d love to be able to just take care of her for the rest of her life, I know that she’s getting to that age where she can take care of herself. I don’t have to hold her hand through everything anymore. It’s a big step and I know that she’ll make mistakes. But she has to make some mistakes, or else she’ll never really live. And I want her to live the fullest life possible, mistakes and all.

I love my family. They’ve always been so supportive of me. Even when I made their lives a living hell, they stood by me and reminded me that no matter what I do in life, I’ll always have a place at home. I haven’t been the easiest child. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, some bigger than others. And yet, through it all, my parents have been beside me. In my darkest days, they were always there for me. No matter what battle I was fighting, be it one with myself or one with others, they’ve had my back, covered my ass, and cleaned up after me when I couldn’t do it myself. My family is the most consistent thing in my life. Friends come and go. Even the ones that promise they won’t leave you hanging sometimes do.  But not family. At least not mine.

Today, I had the sudden urge to look up a long lost relative. Someone I’d never spoken to and really only heard awful, sad stories about. I realized that with the internet being the wonderful, god-like thing that it is, could help me find him. I used the New York Department of Corrections Inmate Information Search and typed in all the things I knew about him. There were so many results, and I had no idea how to narrow them down. I ended up talking to my aunt to see if I could get some information on him. We chatted briefly about my search, but eventually got sidetracked and talked about my dad and my grandfather and Christmas and family. And that’s when it hit me. I didn’t need to look up this long lost relative that no one talks about. I have all the family I could ever need.

Sure, getting to learn more about this guy might broaden my horizons a bit. But for me, he’s not really family. By the dictionary definition, yes. But not in the way that I see it. Family is a group of people who love and support you no matter what you do or say or believe. You can be related to someone without being family. You don’t have to be related to someone for you to love and support them unconditionally.

Family is not who you’re related to. Family is who you can relate to.

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