Recently we have been gathering as a family to farewell another and it has given me a lot of time of reflection. I enjoy reflecting.
My own upbringing was out of the ordinary. Born to a young couple, and raised by them for a short time until my paternal grandmother also had a huge influence. Then I lived with my birth father and girlfriend.
After a few twists and turns I was placed (willingly and happily) into custody of my aunty and uncle. There I stayed until I became a young adult and left home. During my upbringing I continued to have contact with both of my birth parents.
Since then and as a married adult with three children this have changed. Well my view on who are family and who are important has changed. I have realised over time that 'blood' or genetics does not make a family alone.
Sure I still acknowledge that my genes are from certain people in my life but I do not agree that they automatically deserve love and adoration. Respect, sure but even then I believe that should be earned not expected.
My Aunty Anne, who died several years ago, is still my hero and I still think of her as a mother. All environmental.
My birth father, I always felt a strong bond with and loved deeply, he doesn't appear to want me in his life and as a result that bond I felt is waning. I now have no contact with him.
My uncle, who raised me with Anne I now have no contact with. This is a choice by me as I feel his choice of lifestyle does not suit my morals and I do not want him near my children. I have never trusted him.
My birth mother, well I now have more contact with her than ever. We are very different but our lives have pulled back together. It's really cool. I love her more now than I ever did.
My step father; died last week and I will miss him terribly. Despite never really living with him, he treated me with huge amount of respect and vice versa.
My full brother, love to bits. Lived with him for a little while.
My half sister and brother; love both, never lived with either.
My Uncle Scott's ex partner; love to bits.
I could start to include all my cousins and extras; including family from family members that married in who are not related genetically.......... but I'm running out of steam lol.
The point is........................as we all know. Relationships are about mutual respect. Family relationships included. If there is no respect then a relationship crumbles.
I can think of several good friends that Mark and I consider our extended family. From love that is built, worked on and developed.
So just because you may have the same genetic make up as me doesn't mean I will love you.
I won't be unkind to you or harm you, but may not love you.
Love is a reward for kindness.
Ouch, sounds harsh.
I do have unconditional love for my children but I ALWAYS let them know that when they are unkind around the house my love for them is stretched.
Never stretch too far. Sometimes stretched things break.
That's what the harshness of real life has taught me