You don’t have to look alike to be family.  Blood isn’t even necessary to a common link in order to claim family ties.  But, there is something about what we share that makes relationships uniquely family.

Of course blood does distinguish a certain kind of family connection.  These certainly are special ones.  Nothing separates us and nothing can negate what we share in common.

Then, there are family members linked by law.  Marriage ceremonies add members to our family.  We have been blessed with two wonderful in-law children that are so dearly loved that they are family.

A third category makes up a special kind of family member.  These members are  family by choice.  Well, then again it really isn’t choice as much as it is something that we fall into, happen chance, a connection, chemistry beyond human understanding.

These are family members by fun.  Blood and law relatives aren’t our choices.  They are sovereignly assigned.

Friends who become so close that we start to gather memories that knit our lives together are amazingly fun.  You can tell when these friends start to become family.  Spontaneous gatherings happen without calendar planning.

There is a spirit of eagerness to get together.  Fellowship is quick, easy and always fun.  Time is a test for these collections of special people. 

I am blessed to have great family by blood, super family by law and amazing lives of friends that I love as family.  Whenever any of us connect it is easy to slip back into talking, teasing, reflecting just like we have never been separated for any length of time.  We lap up those moments of connection like they are newly discovered treasures.

Our daughter by blood is visiting from many miles away.  One of our family through friendship joined us for a great meal.  The food was amazing but the time together easily bested what we ate.

Vietnamese food was our fare for the evening.  Delicate morsels of fish, chicken, pork and a myriad of vegetables filled our plates.  Then, creme brulee topped off the meal to perfection.

But, boy did we laugh.  So much of what we laughed about is simple stuff.  Love pumps up the decibels so that we find it natural to laugh through a story.

The evening was growing late.  Our dishes had long been cleared.  It was time for us to depart.  But, as family the joy expressed was priceless.  Until we meet again, these memories would be a teaser for the next time around.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography