I always wanted a big family. I wanted a bunch of kids to play with, big family get togethers, and lots of instant friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love the family I have. I have one brother and one sister. My sister and I have never been that close. We are 11 years a part in age. There isn’t a lot of common ground there. Sure, I love her to death and if anybody messes with her I will kick their ass. My brother and I are closer. We are closer in age. We have families now. But still, not that close. There are months sometimes where I don’t even hear from him. But still, you mess with my brother and you mess with me. And now I also have a sister in law, a niece and a nephew to go with it. Don’t you mess with them either. I deal with murderers and drug dealers all day. You don’t mess with my family.
I have aunts and uncles. My mom has one brother and one sister and my dad has three brothers. My mom and her siblings are not close. I am not sure if my dad is real close with his brothers, I haven’t even met one of them and I barely know the others. They all live way out of state. I have a few cousins. Most on my dad’s side and most I have never met. I learned more about my cousin Brianna from Facebook than anything else.
My grandpa, my mom’s dad, lives with my mom. My dad’s mom lives in the San Diego area. I love them all. I never want anything to happen to any of them. But we aren’t like the family in that movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
So I have compensated. I was married, and even though I am now divorced, I haven’t cut contact with his family. I still spend time with his aunts and cousin. Pretty frequently. Actually, yesterday I went to see Taylor swim. He is good. We have pizza on Friday’s when we can. They are my family.
I compensated with friends. I have a few friends. Trisha and her family are the same as family to me. We have been friends for nearly a decade. I have David and he has a nice family. I have only met a couple of them, but they were nice.
I have a nice full life, no big fat family, but a nice one. Now I even have two kids of my own. I even kind of like them most of the time.
I always knew there was another side of my family…
The other day, I got this Facebook friend request from some guy asking me about my brother. He said he tried to find him on Facebook (my brother is not a Facebook user) and couldn’t find him, but found an older guy with the same name. So what did I do? I looked it up. Well, this other Joe, is in fact my uncle.
In case you didn’t know, my dad is my mom’s second husband. She and he got together when I was almost ten. As you can tell, there must have been a previous dad. There was. I don’t know him. It’s a long story. He made some choices. You can’t change the past and there is no use dwelling. But that guy, he has a large family. I don’t know them either.
Anyways, I decided to friend up this uncle and some cousins on the Facebook. No big deal. Just say hi. See how they are doing. I remember a few of them. Somehow, this turned into a big thing. There are A LOT of cousins. There are aunts and uncles. (Is everyone on Facebook?) It is nice to hear from them. Turns out, they are a Big Fat Italian Family.
I don’t know where they live. I don’t know what they do. But what I do know is that despite everything that has happened to me, despite the fact that I already have a pretty great family, these people, they, for no other reason other than the fact that we are related, love and accept me anyway. They don’t know me. It doesn’t matter. We are family.
In three short days, I will be 33 years old. 33. Seriously. These people didn't do anything to me and as long as none of them are federal inmates, I have no reason to not include them. They did not make the choices that my mom's first husband made. I spent enough of my 33 years with regrets and a lot of lost time being alone or what have you. That was dumb. I am too old for that.
Family is family. What else do you have?