My nuclear family moved away from all of my extended family when I was very young. While a common occurrence in this country, it was always difficult for me. I really love my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins – but I was lucky if I got to see all of them once in a year. That’s the bad part.
The good part? I chose people around me to be my adopted extended family. When I was a kid, my band teacher’s parents always talked to me at all my band functions (and there were a lot of them) – instant grandparents. My two pastors and their wives. My music teachers. My dad’s best friend’s family. My friends growing up felt more like sisters and cousins, we’ve known each other so long. My friends’ parents. Several families from my church. College friends.
Here’s my point: we all crave society and connections with people. If you’re lonely (or if your family isn’t quite the loving type), go out and find yourself a family. You have to take the bad with the good (you’re not always a bundle of roses yourself, you know), but there are people out there who will care about you and stand by you when you need someone – even more so if you do the same for them. I think my “adoption” of family members has been a great thing for Little Girl and Little Guy – they get to be surrounded by people who care about them and love them. Go add some love to the world.