Updated: Sep 8, 2021
This past year I've done a lot of soul searching as to who is my family. Of course your blood relations are technically family, but are they your tribe?
Heck, I have a large "family" yet only truly speak to a few of them. So is that it?
I don't think its that simple.
I have friends I've known my entire life who I love like sisters, I have new friends who have saved me from the flames of hell and back. They are my tribe.
Its sad how life will show you the true colors of people. The parts they try to hide with friendly hellos or a sweet comment on a social media post. But in fact they carry on about their life not really caring about the human sitting on the other side of the screen.
I think social media has brought many closer but its also creates more fakes and phony's too.
I sit and read comments on top of comments that are so obviously insincere. "I'm praying for little Sally" are you now? Like you care that little Sally got her first booboo that you fell to your knees in prayer? But sadly there is no BS button or maybe someone might call them out!
So what is real anymore? Who is genuine?
I learned the hard way this year that those I thought were "true friends" disappeared on us when we needed them most. Yet through the wreckage many people came to our aid that I least expected and without any expectation other than knowing we were okay. TRIBE
I read through thousands of condolences and yes, death is sad. Its sad for those suffering the loss, and it makes you and others reflect on your own life and how fleeting it truly is. But again, there was no BS button for most of them.
"Anything you need", "We will help in any way we can", Hmmm really? I mean we all "mean" well but do we mean what we are saying? I realized sadly that most didn't. So I make a point to never offer support in any way that I truly do not intend to offer. Be real or don't be anything at all.
Don't promise a prayer if you're going to put your phone down and forget ones plight.
Life moved on for the rest of the world, as mine stayed still and stagnant. But through the wreckage I forged a few true friends. Sometimes pain bonds people together that never would have bonded had they not suffered in some kinship.
Not having parents to turn to, I looked to my in-laws who lost their only child. We shared a common pain, a loss of an irreplaceable man. Although we can never fully understand each others pain. I cant imagine losing my only son, nor do they know the gravity of losing their best friend, their soulmate. But we had that love for him in common and over the years, a love for each other too. So in their loss I needed them to know I was still "their daughter". I suppose they have been my parents longer than my biological ones who died when I was only 17. They shared our babies, our holidays, love and losses over the last 18 years. They saw us through failure and successes and loved us, supported us each step of the way. Are they any less my family because my husband is gone? Or because we are of no blood relation? I couldn't love them any less if I tried. They are my family. My tribe.
I don't have the answers of why people think its better to say a sweet lie than turn the cheek and simply show the truth; that they don't care, not really.
Maybe I am the weird one? I don't know...But if Lynda has a baby and im happy for her, I say so! Because I am truly happy for her. I don't make a comment to look good, or to earn some brownie points in some fashion. I am truly me. I love deeply and wholeheartedly but I was forced to learn that many are not like me.
This isn't meant to be a mean post, just an honest one.
I hold no will ill towards most of them. Most meant no real harm. They just did what most do. Say the appropriate, sweetest things when you don't know what else to say. Or maybe for that moment they did in fact mean it, but after a few weeks, months, their sympathy depleted as they carried on with life forgetting that mine ended. Besides, I am not their responsibility right? Hmm I don't know. My tribe IS my responsibility. I hold myself accountable to everyone I care for. They are my family and you look after your own, right??
Take a look in your circle. Blood family excluded, who can you count on? Who will cry and feel your pain? Who will drop everything at 3am because you need them? They are your tribe they are your family.
So yes, Ive experienced tremendous loss throughout my life yet oddly my family is growing in size! I have many sisters, and two awesome parents, great kids and many brothers. Some older who look out for me, some who can come fix a mower because you have no clue. My family is legend and I am blessed for those who remain in my life I now know are genuine and true they are my TRIBE.