My mother had a little wooden plaque that hung in kitchen windows and hallways wherever we lived that said this: Friends Become Our Chosen Family.
Some of us don’t know what family means in that Hallmark sort of way. Some of us don’t know what it means to have fathers. Some of us are distanced from our families by religion or beliefs or space or time or death or abuse.
We want so badly to comfort each other in the face of such challenges. And we do, even though sometimes we don’t know how. Sometimes we say the really bad wrong thing at the wrong time. But we know we mean well. We forgive each other and we work on our shit. Because we know the power of communication and messy love is what saves us. We loan each other spare parts to build patch-work Macgyver kinda shit out of our hearts. We know how one another really feels about the world. And when we are apart we send each other hope in the mail.
A family’s function is to promote survival. Together we are surviving. And even though we don’t always feel it all the time, we are thriving.