If I could sum up life in one word it would be: unexpected. When I was young our family dynamic was normal, siblings argued, parents argued at times, we laughed, we cried, we worked (a lot). At that time life and our family was ordered…simple…and there was nothing unexpected. Basically we were hobbits. You know…”Nothing unexpected ever happened.”
Then my older sister was diagnosed with cancer. Cue flashback to the most awful “family room” a hospital ever furnished and enter the two most awful, life changing words. Cancer. Malignant. Things changed…and quickly. We shifted into survival mode. All the family resources were pooled just to function, to survive. We became a little ring around my sister and sometimes the rest of us faded into the background. At the time, being so young, it hurt, because I was a teenager and incredibly short sighted at times.
Then miraculously she was in remission and slowly…slowly our lives began the slow march back down to “normalcy.” Then after a few years we began to forget a little…thinking that nothing unexpected would happen again. Then Mr. Wonderful came into the picture and threw everyone for a loop. With a married daughter the family changed again…and kept on changing. My parents adopted a little boy, my oldest sister married, and now my two little baby sisters are finishing up college with Little Miss Owl dancing around for everyone to fawn over.
These days life is a lot different. We’ve started to accept that life is unexpected and that change is normal…although hard. I am not looking forward to the next two college graduations at all. We split our sense of family three ways, our little pack, my family, and Mr. Wonderful’s. And at times it gets hectic…Christmas and Thanksgiving come to mind. But family has also come to include my best friend who is more like a sister and becoming a mother myself…having my ‘own’ family.