I will always believe your spirit family - the family you choose- will be your truest family. I know a lot of folks will protest, blood is thicker than water they'll shout. I've seen first hand how that can be true, but I've also seen first hand how sometimes, it's not. And I I love my husband dearly, but I chose him. It wasn't preordained by birth. Just because I love him does not mean I have to love his family too. But I do, because I chose to. Our families are united because we choose one another.
That's the way it is with my brother, Rico. We share not a drop of blood, but he's been my brother since before I was in high school. His mom married my dad somewhere in the 90's. I don't remember a time when he wasn't my big brother. I have very clear memories of us as kids doing "family things" like vacations, or praying his mom would stop hanging out of the car window embarrassing all of us.
I have very fond memories eating at a Japanese restaurant because Rico and my blood brother Jared both love Japan so much. Rico and I had trouble with a fish dish, and our baby brother was totally fine with whatever weird thing he ordered. I remember laughing, and hugging, and rolling our eyes at our parents. I remember both of my brothers dancing at my wedding, and Jared giving an unscripted speech.
And I remember both of us crying when our baby brother died suddenly. My big brother Rico, who doesn't share a drop of blood with either Jared or myself helped me pay for the funeral. By then, Rico had been in our lives most of Jared's very young life. He was our brother, and nothing would ever change that.
So when Rico told me he was getting married to a wonderful gentleman named Zach, my heart was filled with joy for him. Their kindness, their courage, and their love inspire me. Saturday, in Milwaukee Wisconsin, they said their promise to chose one another. I have been blessed since the day Rico became my big brother, and continue that journey as I gain a new brother in Zach.
The family you chose, your spirit family, is the family you spend your life with. Because, love is love.