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I started to write a post about family earlier, but I deleted it. I’m not quite sure if I’ll get through this post without deleting it, either. Family is just such a touchy subject. Our families shape our views of the world as children. Our families help mold us into who we are to become as adults. Even when we are grown, we can’t help but think, “What would my family say?”

When all is said and done, and we have reached the age of 18, or gone to college/trade school, or gotten some great job that doesn’t need schooling first, what does family really mean anymore? I’d like to think it means a great deal. But the fact of the matter is that family is just another word for people who either support you or discourage you. You love them a great deal, sure, but whether or not you live your life to please them after adulthood is up to you.

I feel like I have more than one family. I have the family that God gave me to start with, the family that I made with my ex-husband, and the large extended family that I chose over the years. The first family…well, things aren’t always perfect between us, but I will never stop loving any of them. I may not always want them in my life, but I will always hold them close to my heart.

The second family is much smaller than either of the other families. It’s just me and Zack. I cannot even begin to put into words how grateful and blessed I am to be his mother. I’ve never been closer to anyone than I am to my child, and I wouldn’t trade all that we’ve been through for the world because it has brought us that much closer. Zachary is my little prince. I think God knew exactly what He was doing when He made me Zack’s mother.

The third family – the family that I chose – is very special to me. It consists of about a handful of very dear friends who have stood by me through various trials and triumphs in my life. There is something to be said about people who aren’t afraid to love you when you are at your lowest. These friends, who are all women, have become honorary sisters to me. I know that they may not all feel the same way, but that doesn’t change anything. I doubt if any of them will ever understand what it has meant to me that they have stood by me, even when others have disparaged and abandoned me.

So that is my view of family in a nutshell. What about you? Who makes up your family? Can you count on them in tough times, as well as good?