As my beloved sister and I help our brother deal with dementia, I am reminded once again of the importance of family. Family: The people who love you, who are there for you in the good times and the bad, the people who knew you when, the ones who know your flaws and failings and love you anyway, the ones who are your best supporters.
Except—this is not always the case. I have many friends whose families don't do that. They cannot go to family members and expect love, affirmation and support. Some have no families to which they can go at all. Others have families who simply are unable to provide love and support. Still others have experienced a rupture somewhere along the way.
But here's the good news. What I call "chosen families" also fill the bill! Often, dear friends are as close or closer to you than any family member might be. They will be there for you in good times and bad. And when your friendship goes back a long ways, you do know a lot about each other's stories and lives. This definitely can fill the bill!
Sadly, not all families of origin are what we would wish them to be. If that's the case for you, don't despair. Remember that families don't have to be connected by blood. They can be connected by love!
Do you have any "chosen family" members? (Even when you have a loving family, you might still have some "chosen family" too.) Be grateful if you do! Thank them for being in your life.