Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Just like family

Do you have friends who you consider family? I do. In fact, most of my family is made up of people to whom I'm not actually related. They're who I call when I need a shoulder to lean on, or I have news, or I need an opinion.

I know there are people who feel the same about me. I know, because they've told me.

You don't choose your family.
They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.
(Desmond Tutu)
It's sort of easy to say, though. You get really close with someone because she's there for you in a difficult time, or helps in a way no one else could. Suddenly, she's looking a lot more like a sister than the one who was just screaming at you over the phone.

So, you tell her. "You're like a sister to me." The words roll off your tongue naturally, and you both smile, hug, maybe tear up a bit. Then you go on your merry way.

But is it true? Is the mark of a sibling (or someone "just like" one) that she's there through the good and bad? That she doesn't judge or scold? She's always there to listen?

To me - that's a friend. A good friend maybe - but a friend.

I don't think you find family based on who treats you well. I think you find family based on how you feel when someone treats you poorly.

If she ticks you off, and you can just walk away - she's not family. If you delete her from your phone because you don't hear from her for a while - she's not family. If you flush the friendship the minute she tells you the harsh truth you didn't want to hear - she's not family.

Yeah - family tells you the truth, even when it hurts. Family annoys you and even ignores you occasionally. But when someone is really like family to you - you won't just walk away.

As an only child, I know this is all too well. I know that no matter how good a friend I am to someone, or how close she feels to me, I'll never get away with the things that a true sister could. It's just a bond that can't be broken - and one I don't have.

Truthfully, though I reap many rewards for being an only child, there's nothing that can replace the unconditional love true siblings have for one another. Those who have it should take care to never let it go.


  1. This is a great post - reminds me of my BFF who is more than a sister to me who I miss deeply.