I’m currently writing a blog post about my father. No, not this one. The post is going to be a dive into our relationship, it always brings me into a dark place. A few years ago, in order to help me forgive my father, I decided I needed to retool how I pictured what he brought to my life in order to help me heal. So while I write that post, I’m dedicating gratitude Tuesday to the joys and positives my father has brought to my life.
- I have an incredible group of brothers and sisters. I don’t mean to brag, but they kind of rock. Both of my parents were married prior to each other and had children from those marriages. Each of them brought a set into my life and without my father, I would have not have my amazing sister and brothers.
My sister is a true light in my life. She puts up with my craziness, lets me run around her home, and will forever be one of my best friends. When my anxiety is through the roof and I’m experiencing panic attacks, her house is the place I run. No invitation is needed. No locked doors. I can show up at just know I can be in whatever state I’m in and I’ll be accepted for it. Along with her is my awesome brother in law as well as my sister’s first husband. Both of whom I’ve known since I was either a baby or a toddler. I can be in any state and they will always be accepting of who I am.
My father also brought another sister who past when I was younger, and two brothers two my life. My sister, I’m sad to say, I didn’t get to know very well. I was thirteen at the time, and as most young teens, I was completely focused on myself. I wish I had had the chance to get to know her like I had my other. Both of my brothers I also haven’t had the chance to get to know as well as my sister. Both live out of state at fairly far distances. I rarely get to see them, but I know that they love me just as I love them. If they ever needed anything, I would be there for them just as I’m sure they would be for me. I wish that had lived in the state as I grew older so I could have been with them on holidays, random weekends and events.
You see all my siblings from my father are at least 18 years older than me; so the majority of them were out of the house, married and living their own lives when I was born. Only my sisters lived in state, but I do have relationships with my siblings and talk to them more often now thanks to Facebook. My sister in law has also been a wonderful addition to my life and has been there for me and listened to me when I’m unsure of where to go.
- I’m an Auntie! In fact, I’ve been one from the moment I was conceived. Since my siblings are so much older, they began establishing families while I was very young, and in one case, before I was born. I’m the only person I know with a niece older than herself. My nieces and nephews have been in my life since we were all children. In fact, we sometimes just say we’re cousins when it comes to explaining how we are related. One in particular, I grew up with and even shared a room with when I was younger. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to grow these relationships. I’m now a great-aunt and have a wonderful with relationship with my great nieces and nephew.
- I have an amazing village. I grew up with this crazy large family, and my father played a role. While he was not particularly active in my life, my siblings’ aunts, uncles and cousins were all around. I constantly joke around that I don’t know how I’m related to half of my relatives. The truth is, half aren’t blood related to me at all. Because of my father, I grew up with a group of people who loved and accepted a child that they easily could have chosen not to include. The kindness they have shown me and the care has meant the world. I thank them for it every day.