Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Friends are the family you choose for yourself...

Today I received the most touching and heartfelt thank you note from my “Other Mother”.  In it she said, “You might not be the daughter of my womb but you certainly are the daughter of my heart!”

 I collected my “Other Mother” when I was in high school. I loved babies so I spent all my free time with a neighborhood family helping with or babysitting their twins and they became very close family friends.  We bonded and helped each other.  I had much more experience with babies than she did. She would call me crying, “They are both crying and I don’t know what to do!” I would walk over and calm the babies while she took a shower and had some quiet time. She has always been there when I needed extra mothering in times of joy and sorrow and as my main mom for the last ten years. She took me for prom dress fittings and to choose my wedding gift registry. She has been an amazing role model for me. Mommy was very thankful that I had Mom M.R. in my life since I didn’t have any aunts.

I was raised with an extended family that was made up of family friends. The only family we had in the United States was my mom’s cousin and her family who lived in San Francisco; we lived in the Chicago suburbs. When my parents finally settled in the Chicago area they sought out old friends from Poland and were introduced to friends of friends in the Polish community. We spent many holidays with my dad’s college buddy and his family. Other couples and families became close too. Of course my mom made friends in town and we had more chosen family that was important to us.

The first family member I chose was G. my oldest best friend, my Brother from a German Mother. He and I have been friends from the moment we met when we moved into the house next door. We were  two and a half years old. Our moms said I took his truck away and hit him in the head with it as an introduction. When we were four years old we were united in a garden ceremony. The preacher was his older brother who pronounced us “awfully married”. The bride wore a swim suit and flip flops. The groom his finest under pants and a popsicle stained shirt. My Pekingese Tanya, wearing my mom’s wig was the maid of honor. G and I have had many adventures, together and apart since then but he is still my very best friend. We are Godparents to each other’s daughters and adore each other’s spouses.

I met the sister of my heart when I pledged my sorority in college. A mutual friend suggested that maybe I would meet Kit when we rushed at the same time. I really doubted it, since there were over five hundred girls rushing. As fate would have it we pledged the same house and became sisters and bff’s immediately. I can always count on her for a laugh, atta girl or a poor baby whenever I need it. We are each other’s cheer leaders and confidants. We vacation and spend holidays together and support each other through each other’s triumphs, celebrations and the most devastating times of our lives. When Mommy was in a nursing home near her house she would visit her when I couldn’t. Our husbands are best friends from diapers. Of course they introduced me and Big Daddy. We have raised our families together, the kids as cousins so they have the beginning of their own chosen families.

I also met my Twin separated at birth in another sorority. We had so much on common it was very scary.  Our families are close and we are godparents to each other’s sons. Our husbands are like twins separated at birth too. Sometimes you are so lucky to bond with people that just “get you”.

Your chosen family can be just as or more important to you than your blood family. People are brought together by for many different reasons and circumstances. We need people in our life that will support us and love us no matter what. The saying goes, “A friend knows all about you but loves you just the same.” I think in some cases even more!


Sharon said...

You are so sweet, Identical Twinn Sister!! We love you so much!