The strangers in your “family tree”

We got a call from David’s mother a few days ago. She was anxiously questioning David as to why he decided not to go to his cousin’s wedding. Her beautiful hand-written invitation was staring at us from the pile of mail…it was well-written. It was very inviting… It was everything a wedding invitation could be. But David never actually met the woman (he only heard OF her). She was a long, distant, far-away, remote cousin he would never recognize in person if he ever saw her on the street.

So, to give you some background, his family is more of I guess collectivist nature, if you will, and they place a lot of emphasis on the blood line. When he finally told his mother that he doesn’t even know this girl, she cried sadly into the phone: “But she is your family! You have to go!”

Her crying got me wondering….who is your family? Really and truly? The way my family works is like this: there’s me, my sister, her kids, my Mom and Dad. That’s it. Both my grandmothers and granddads are long dead and we have a super distant family in New York somewhere. Do we know what they do? No. Do we know anything about them? Not really. Would it be weird if they invited us to the wedding? Uh, yeah, kinda. Would we go? Probably not. We like to think people that matter are those that take the time to be in our lives. And just because they are family, we don’t owe them anything.

In case you are wondering, he ended up going (guess who was the lucky +1?) We met her and her husband, and they were rather nice. It was almost a beautiful moment…. the strangers that got married all of a sudden became our friends because after all….he was “family.”

Do you have similar connections with your relatives?

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