For Me, FRamily Is Thicker Than Blood

Moving away for college to a town where you have extended family who live 10, 20 and even 30 minutes away and never hear from them is hard. It’s hard because one would assume knowing a family member is going to a new town where her family is over an hour away would be a little more welcoming. It’s hard when you see pictures on social media of family gatherings, and you did not get an invite. It’s hard trying to put your own feelings aside and put on a smile for the holidays IF your side of the family is even invited. To my knowledge, nothing has ever happened … no falling out between families or anything like that. It’s just that we’re the forgotten ones sometimes. 
 
It’s such a weird and awkward feeling when you’re friends with all of your cousins on social media, and you reach out to say “Happy Birthday” and you don’t even get a Thank You in return. Though you see them commenting and socializing with the people they know only because of you. 
 
It’s taken some time, but I’ve learned to just be nice and friendly when needed, but just because they are related to me doesn’t mean they are my family. 
 
I’ve been raised with the sayings: “you have your family’s back, no matter what,” or “you’re only ever going to have your family,” and “they’ll be the ones there for you all of the time.” But unfortunately, that just isn’t the case.  
 
But because of my “family,” I’ve been able to find my framily. My framily includes the friends who are my family, who have been there for me through the good AND the bad, the celebrations AND the failures. They are never there to scold or criticize. They offer the best advice, they are there when we need them. They are the ones who reached out after having our first baby, delivered meals, and offered help. THEY are the ones who are offering to be there when we don’t have “family” where we live and I get overwhelmed when it’ll be me vs. two when my husband is working. 
 
They’re the ones who I know will respond to my texts and are truly looking out for me and my family’s well-being. 
 
I will forever and always be grateful for my framily – they have molded and shaped me into the woman I am today. I’m thankful for those college friends’ families who brought me in like their own and provided the love and home cooked meal that I needed when I felt all alone.The texts of “I’m praying for you this week.” I’m thankful for those friends who are more like my cousins and sisters than friends. 
 
I’m thankful for those people who were my framily even after I graduated and are still my framily today even if we are 1.5 hours away. I’m grateful for the framily who ALWAYS includes us for every single holiday.

It’s never an after thought; it’s always a given. It’s tradition. And that’s family.