Wasn’t Family Ties an awesome show in the 80’s? I don’t really remember it, but I remember how I felt at the end of each episode. No matter what happened during the first 20 minutes of the show the last 10 solved all the problems, and wrapped it up in a nice little bow. It was uplifting, fabulous, and the characters are eternal.
That’s not the family ties I mean though in my title. The family ties I am thinking about are the ones that exist between a woman and the family that was created when she married a man. When you marry, you marry the family. You do not marry one girl, you marry a clan of people all with one goal – make sure she is happy.
I know that part of why I kept returning to my husband, at the core, was that I love his family. I love that my self-confidence has been built by them. I love that no matter what was going on in their lives they took the time to see how I was, took the time to build me up, took the time to listen with non-judgemental ears. They would listen and tell me their experience, but then they would say, “But you do what you feel is right.”
If I didn’t do what they thought I should, that wasn’t a problem for them. They simply accepted it and we moved on. It was never brought up again. It was never beaten down in a spiteful fury. It simply was.
These people are my family now.
I know that I have my mother, my maternal grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins that have been constants in my life from my mother’s side. We are celebrating the Flores family’s 101st family reunion in a few weeks.
I know where I come from.
I also have my father’s family, my Italian-Irish cousins, a people that I better identify with as I have such pale skin, crazy dark curly hair and eyes that change with my mood.
These are all my blood relations, but blood is not the only thing that creates family.
Your family is the people who love you, whom you love, who have made unwritten commitments to you.
As anyone knows my divorce is final next week. I am supposedly a single momma with nothing tying me down…save the boys and all. But after talking to the people I consider family…I have come to the conclusion that I am not sure how all of us are going to move on. They love me and support my decision in my divorce, but they still want weekends and holidays with me.
Yesterday was the funeral for my ex husband’s stepfather’s stepmother (try saying that three times fast). While I was with this family it became clear to me that I am just as much a part of their family and life as they are of mine. Today, another phone call this one from my ex husband’s biological fathers family about his paternal grandmother. She is having tests run to determine what type of cancer has formed in her liver. Tomorrow at 7 am.
This is a woman whose couch I have sat on every morning for better than half of the last 11 years. At minimum twice every month since March. Usually I can be found at her house any Saturday morning I am in town. It is my refuge. My place of solace, my home away from home. My permanent address for the last 11 years has been her address.
These are the ties that bind and hold me in limbo. For all my heart I love these people. These are wonderful, amazing individuals and families that have become so much a part of who I am that no matter how I feel about being married to Danny, they are still a part of me.
I was discussing this with a friend of mine; she and I agree that for anyone to accept me and my baggage will have to be a saint. They may not even exist.
How can a man accept this? All of these people that are tied to a former marriage? How can they understand that these people are part of me and part of the deal? These are now my people as much as my blood relations are and in some cases, I go to them first for advice, support, and cherish every moment we have spent together.
Part of me says that if they can’t accept this they are not for me. Then there is another part of me is scared that I will never find someone who does accept them.
What do you think? How is it possible for someone to accept all of this? How is it possible for them to understand the love and ties that bind me to a man that I have divorced? How have you all handled this situation?