In Ontario, we have a relatively new thing called Family Day. The third Monday in February is a holiday and it’s designed to promote family togetherness, I guess. I think it’s a good idea. Seems kind of European to me, in a thoughtful way. But for someone like me, it makes me think about the nature of family.
As many of you know, my wife and I have lost all four of our parents in a short period of time. We have no children. I have a brother who has his troubles and I see him a few times a year. So if I’m to embrace Family Day, I’m looking for the correct perspective.
I still have many cousins and uncles and aunts who have been very supportive. They are still my family, even if I don’t see them very often.
We have good friends who would do anything for us and have proven this to be true over the last few years. They most certainly are family.
I have many FB friends who I don’t really know that well but in a sense, they have become a new kind of cousin to me. An extended family, let’s say.
I have friends who I relate to on a musical level or in a sports comradery kind of way. That’s a kind of family.
Most of us have met people through work who might become our life-long friends or even our husbands or wives. I think that’s why Mary Tyler Moore’s death touched so many people. She helped re-define the idea of what a family is.
So when my wife and I are at home tomorrow, on Family Day, we won’t be calling our mums. We won’t be taking our kids to hockey or to swimming. We won’t be going on some ski outing or shoveling our dads’ walks. But we will be a family. And for those of you who feel like you’ve got less family than you need, you probably have more family than you know. Peace.