Who is my Family?

Michelle and I recently had a debate that stretched over several days. As is often the case when arguing with my wife, she was right. Of course, if you don’t tell her, I won’t. This can be our little secret.

Our conversation was in part based on the concepts in this draft of my high school graduation speech. The idea I proposed is that there are  two kinds of families. There the families we are born into, our brothers, our sisters, our parents, and there are artificial families that we make ourselves, our coworkers, our teammates, our drinking buddies.

As my wife pointed out to me, in this I was wrong. I fell into the trap of a false dichotomy. While it is true that we do gain family beyond those of blood, it is false to call them a separate kind of family, to call them “artificial family.” They are nothing of the sort.

They are simply family.

To call them anything less, to put any sort of qualifiers on it, is to cheapen the value these family members have. I am surrounded by people, both by blood and by choice, who would do anything they could to help me in any way I asked. I was recently reminded of this in my last move, as I stood inside my own house with over a dozen people to help me. They were all family, and I am grateful to each and every one of them.

In fact, I realized that my most important friend, my truly best friend, is not of my flesh and blood. I choose her, and continue to choose her, over all others, for the rest of my life. Michelle, you are and will always be my family.

As will all of the rest of you who are important in my life. Screw blood or genetics. Family is what you make of it, and I could not ask for a better one. Thank you.

-That is all.

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