The definition of "family" has been weighing very heavily on my mind. Family is so much more than a relation by blood. The man who raised me, my "step" father, is more a dad to me than anyone else ever was. And even though in my teenage angst I may have said differently, he IS my dad - blood relation or not. His family is more my family than my moms family who is related to me by blood. When someone asks how many brothers and sisters I have I always respond that I have 4 sisters and a brother, even though two are half siblings, and two are step siblings. To me they are all equally my brother and sisters. I've hardly seen my family since I've moved out, and hardly speak to any of them either. The communication I have with them is always on my part and so are any visits. But by legal definition they are my family.
And then there is my military family - who I'm closer to than any of my legal family. The squadron where Chris works is well aware of our health situation and have been extremely supportive about it. Chris has been able to attend all of my appointments, drive me where I need to go, take Anthony to and from school, and PT on his own since he can't go at designated times. His First Shirt is even trying to figure out a way to get Anthony to and from school on days where Chris is flying and can't do it. A few years ago when Chris was deployed over Thanksgiving someone submitted our name for a Thanksgiving care package and the entire dinner was delivered to our house. The same year someone anonymously gave us a check for some money to help out with Christmas. After David was born we were given a 338th blanket for him from the Commanders Wife.
And then there are Sandra and Kenny. I've spoken of them before but I don't think either realizes just how much they mean to me and my family. Sandra has been my friend since we were first stationed here, nearly 5 years ago. Our friendship has endured a ridiculous amount of outside drama, hardships, and emotions. She truly is family. We can go months without talking or seeing each other, but the second we reconnect it's like no time has passed. I know that if I needed to I could call her up at 2 A.M. with an issue and she'd be there for me no questions asked. I hope she knows the feeling is mutual. Being friends with a female is so difficult for me - I generally don't get along super well with girls. Women can be very catty, jealous, and passive-aggressive. There has never been anything like that with Sandra. We've never fought, or had our feelings hurt unintentionally. She helped pull me through a really bad situation a few years ago that occurred with mutual friends of ours. I truly do consider her family, and her children as part of my family as well.
And Kenny...well Kenny is Kenny! He is my best male friend. I alternate between calling him my second husband, and my 5th child. The few things that Chris doesn't enjoy doing with me are the few things that Kenny and I share a common interest in. Shows like Law and Order, our taste in movies, Mongolian food, Pixel Junk Monsters, and our love for Dr. Pepper. We pretty much disagree and fight about everything else, especially politics - but it's not actual fighting and at the end of it we are still great friends. He's a "bachelor" and lives like one so over the years I've taught him some basic kitchen information and other day to day things. He's another person I know I could call on at 2 in the morning without issue and he'd drop everything to help us out. And unlike a lot of men I know he is very pro-breastfeeding and very interested in a lot of the other things that Chris and I practice that may make other people blink.
These two people are the ones I can be myself around, who have seen me at my worst, and have been there for me when I needed it. They are truly my family.