A Moment in My Life – Monday, June 14, 2021
Jeannie Yee Davis
All too often, we hear someone say these words, “we’re family,” I do it myself. These words carry with them a different meaning for different people. The bottom line—belonging. It doesn’t matter if you’re outgoing or a loner. Even for a loner, at some point, they, too, need to belong somewhere whether they admit to it or not.
“We’re family” are magical words that don’t require blood or even a DNA test. I know some who are big on “family,” and for them, family means someone who shares the same blood as them—no exceptions. That’s their prerogative. Growing up, I leaned towards that perspective based upon my naivety until I grew up and met an array of people from different walks of my life. Each person was a stranger to me at some point, and because of them, I learned that it’s not blood that makes people family. Instead, it’s the person themselves and whatever common bond they each bring to the scene that creates family over time.
These relationships happen in the least expected places. You probably never thought about this before, but have you noticed how much more you know about your coworkers than your extended family? You see your coworkers at least five days a week. You make conversations with each other throughout the day. You may have lunch together. And for some, do extracurricular activities, such as bowling or baseball games, outside of work together. And, when was the last time you even spoke to your relatives?
There are people you love in a work environment, and there are people you loathe, just like in any family. With that said, I noticed that if I were in an unfamiliar group, and the only face I recognized was a coworker I am not too fond of, I might seek that person out rather than be with a stranger—just like with family. You tend to draw to your family in unfamiliar surroundings. Some go as far as become good friends who move in together and essentially become each other’s family.
I have been blessed with many adoptive families brought together by a common thread like my work family. Then, my church family derived my small group family, my family of Christian sisters, etc. Aside from that, I’ve got my book club family and lunch bunch family, and now my Facebook, which in itself has many sub-groups that I call family. Why so many families? Because they consist of people I like and who came into my world and added value. Thus, they became an essential fixture in my life which defines family for me.
There is another family that is close to my heart. The one that I got when I married Mark, the love of my life. I didn’t gain just a husband, but also a set of parents, two sisters, and a baby brother who grew up and added their spouses and kids to the mixture. Of all my tribes, this one is dear to my heart because that’s what remains of Mark. It also stood the test of time, which I can’t say I’m surprised, but truth be told, only time could tell how things would play out. As it turned out, I didn’t have to worry, unlike my aunt, who was widowed with two toddlers and an infant and disowned by her in-laws in her late twenties. This incident happened to my aunt when I was a kid. It left a poignant impact on me. After Mark passed, this memory surfaced, and during a vulnerable moment, I feared that I might have seen the last of his family.
Time proved that this fear was delusive. Instead of falling away from each other, my extended family has become closer than ever. We’ve spoken more often and spent more quality time together in the past two and a half years since Mark’s passing than we did when he was alive. He would’ve loved spending so much time with his siblings. I believe that he is with me always, and his spirit has brought us together, for which I’m grateful.
We may not have blood bonding us, but I love my adoptive families just as much as my birthed family because we’re all people related or not. More so, we’re all a part of God’s family. If we love and care for each other and foster some good within our relationship, that’s good enough for me. We’re family.