Family, Part III
As I shared in the first post in this series, I’ve longed for the kind of tight-knit family in which your close relatives are also among your closest friends. Despite being the last of four brothers, this hasn’t been the case for me, although strides have been made recently for the better. If you’re not friends with your family, though, you can still make your friends your family. Only a few friends in one’s life will be that close, so they are to be cherished all the more. I know this is veering into trite platitudes, the kind of sappiness cornered by Hallmark. But Hallmark can sell a lot of cards because, sometimes, those sentiments are true.
I first met Becca on another blogging site, and she quickly became that kind of friend to me. I was at one of the lowest points in my life at the time, and she helped me through it as, I’m now convinced, no one else could have. She has written her side of the story on this site before. When I needed a fresh start, I couldn’t see any better place to go than near her. I actually lived with her family– she and her husband and two kids– in their guest bedroom, for the first three months after I arrived in Texas. It was funny how quickly I was integrated into the household. I had assigned chores, I ran errands, I house/dog-sat for eight days while they visited family out-of-state; but I also shared in almost every family activity.
Even after I moved into my own apartment, when I would visit their house, it quickly became clear that my status had permanently changed from guest to family. This means that you don’t just come over for dinner, you help cook and/or clean. But it also means that you get to watch the kids open their gifts from Santa, long before any guests come for Christmas dinner. It means when a kid’s birthday party is over and everyone else goes home, you go out to dinner with the family. It means they dog-sat for me when I went out of town, and even though said dog bit Becca then, they welcomed that same dog back into their home. That’s love, folks, the kind of love that can only come from family, even if that family is not by blood.
Recently, I was out with all four of them. I thanked them for inviting me on this excursion and Becca said, “you don’t need to thank us, because you’re part of our family. Instead of saying ‘your best friend and her family,’ you should call us your Best Framily.” She was terrifically excited and pleased with herself to have invented such a clever new word; I was sad to tell her that Sprint was already using it in commercials. But I think she uses it in a much better sense than they do. I’m proud that I can call her my Best Friend and them my Best Framily. I never want to take such a blessing for granted.
P.S. Becca says I should sign my blog posts at the end because they just seem to stop abruptly otherwise. She also says I should floss my teeth, so I guess I should listen to at least one out of two.