Friends are the Family We Choose

By Missy Strittmatter

I am lucky that I have a very good family.  Now we all have our idiosyncrasies and quirks, and yes there are times members of my family can drive me crazy. However,  in the end, they are my family and I love them dearly!  When push comes to shove they are in the foxhole with me time and again, guns blazing ready to run forward screaming “Forward the Light Brigade” like Tennyson soldiers.

But I don’t live my daily life with my biological family outside the two

Me and my two warriors out on a hike.

small warriors I have at home.  However, I do spend my daily life surrounded by the family I choose.

Last week, I was reminded  how important the family we choose is when I lost a friend to a hard fought battle with cancer.  When word came that she was gone, many of those members of my chosen family rallied together both with me and behind me and it was amazing to watch.  It was convicting and it reminded me what a blessing and responsibility it is when we choose our family.

Friends are precious and we need to choose them wisely.  If we are lucky, we will choose friends who choose us right back and these two parts become more than the whole.  We don’t simply become 1+1=2, we become 1+1=3.  Community begets community.

Several members of my chosen family. Still cute after all these years!

It’s a multiplier and with luck, I hope when you find yourself in the foxhole, like me, you will not only find the family you were born to, but the family you choose. My chosen family has lost a member, but she helped me to remember and to recognize those members still here and to know sometimes it is the family we choose that makes all the difference.

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4 Responses to Friends are the Family We Choose

  1. kim Parshley says:

    What a beautiful story..
    I feel the exact same way. My website
    was inspired by this same message in your story.

    • rmhcaustin says:

      What a great website Kim! That is a fabulous benefit to so many people. I wish you all success. I do believe in the power of community and if you find ways to pour into other people’s lives, it will enrich your life tenfold.

      • kim Parshley says:

        Thank you! Your comment means the world to me..
        I know I am on the right track..Now all I need is for Ellen Degeneres or Oprah Winfrey
        to hear about it..I know that they would support the site. A possible mention on their show and it would catch fire. There are millions that deserve to hear all about it 🙂

  2. Jane Rose says:

    Amen! Well-put and I know I’m glad for the “family” I have here at RMHC Austin, both coworkers and volunteers. But thanks for making us reflect on our choices. And I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. My shoulder is here for you any time you need it.

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