Monday, March 23, 2009

Yours, Mine and Ours

My friend Heather's definition of family is as big as her heart. At forty she is a grandmother, step grandmother to you and me, but you will never hear her say that. The son of the daughter of her husband is as much her grandchild as any she could imagine. Her own family is a delightful mix of his and hers, this and that, but from Heather you hear "my sister, my brother", never once preceded by any descriptor making them any less than whole.

In my family we had steps, both my parents remarrying soon after their divorce. The brothers inherited on my father's side, all older, no commonalities, most lived out of town, steps. From my mother I got a step brother and two step sisters, three of the funniest people I have ever known, wonderful people all of them, and steps. And when my mother and their father divorced? Step siblings once removed is how we all described each other, although we remain friends to this day.

Thankfully for me Heather opens her generous heart to her friends as well, including all of us in her assembled family. As I create my own version of family, I take lessons from my dear friend who teaches me that the title is less important than the role, and family is what you make it, even if that makes you a scooter driving granny at forty.

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