I just returned from a wonderful reunion with my family. It reminded me that family is important both for giving you a sense of belonging and grounding you. Seeing everyone smiling, hugging and laughing was something to treasure. The photos are evidence of this celebration but it is the feeling that you keep with you. I lost my mother some years ago but she was there with us, smiling at us during this reunion. We lost a beloved family member, Aunt Anita, a few years ago and she was there spiritually as we watched her oldest daughter married. I felt weepy more than a few times at the reunion because I was missing my mother, I was missing my aunt and I was feeling their presence but their physical presence was needed/wanted by all of us. This was the type of party both of them would have relished in. What I found peace in is that everyone got to meet my better half. I was touched that all of my family got to see what I see in him everyday. He became a part of our family.
But, Familia is complicated. There is poison that can come into our lives. It seeps through our veins and tricks you into believing it is a part of us. The taste is sweet and seductive. It is a mirage of a connection. It is an attempt to fulfill a promise to a loved one. What you gain you must also lose. With life there is death. This poison must be pushed out of your veins when you recognize the cruelty of it. I realized on this trip that while family is to a certain extent biology it is mostly a feeling of love. Your family will be there for you no matter what but you must earn that. My aunts, uncles and cousins gather around our family to protect us all from harm and hurt. I hope that all of my aunts, uncles and cousins know that I love them and I am here to not only celebrate them but to protect them. I thank all of my family for coming to our reunion and celebrating our love for one another.