This has been an interesting week. I got a surprise visit from my daughter in Portland. Because of the visit I found myself taking an unexpected trip to the airport on Sunday. I made the decision to invite my Mom to spend a little time with her first grandchild and to give me a little company. This was not my first bad decision nor will it likely be my last, but it certainly played out as a bad decision. 

We do not get to choose our family. We are simply there with the family we have. My trip home with my mom quickly devolved into an exercise in patience and pain. After accusing the gas station attendant of cheating her (in correctly) I told her that it would be better to treat people with a bit more respect. This was not a popular idea. She eventually started cussing at me, calling me names, and finally declared that if I were to die, she would not miss me. This was a thought that she reiterated two more times. I have heard her say some pretty inappropriate things in my life, but this one was so shocking I just stopped talking. 

Then I flew to Nashville to see my mother in law Betty

Betty is the part of my family that I chose. She belongs to a group I call my Forever Family. When I saw her, she used her entire 4 foot 4 inch frame to hug me tight. I am fixing to take a cross country road trip with her and I can’t wait. I adore this lady beyond the scope of words. She is among my most favorite people in the world.

In recovery we have a forever family. This family that we choose is a group that just loves us because we are us. They do not put prerequisites on love, they simply love. They do not use our past as a weapon, they use our future for encouragement. I would not be where I am today without my Forever Family. 

I still love my natural family. Regardless of the things they do and the way they treat me, I will always love them. It’s because of the genetic information we share. But that Forever Family is there because of my own choice. Find the people who love you; not the you they wish for, but the actual you that you are. That’s your Forever Family. If you know them already, you are blessed. If you do not, we’ve got a group for that! I hope to see you soon on a Friday night.
-Rise Up!!!

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