Still Family

Today is my sister-in-law’s birthday. At least, she was my sister-in-law for many years until they divorced. Does that make her my “ex” sister-in-law or does she just become another person from the past?

I am reminded of a conversation I had with my was-band prior to our divorce. We had been married for twenty years, had two great children and shared extended family during that time. Now we were separating and I planned a trip with the kids to his parent’s home. During our discussion, he told me to “leave his family alone and get my own.” What a surprise to discover the people who I’d entertained after our children’s births, visited in hospitals, shared holiday meals with and attended funerals beside were no longer “my” family. Twenty years shared do not make them family? How was that possible? When did the line break, the in-law become outlaw for me?

I recently hosted a dinner honoring our son and his fiancée. They were the guests of honor and chose the people to attend. They wanted their family to attend and so the invitations went to all those in-laws of mine from long ago. They are still my children’s’ aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, although no longer my in-laws. Strange to make the separation.

It was a lovely dinner, with all those in-laws (and the was-band and his current amour) and I was glad to share the occasion with “my family.” Divorce cuts ties with spouses, not with family and that is the lesson we’ve shared with our children.

Happy birthday, sister-in-law, wherever you are, I hope it is a happy occasion and you are surrounded with love. You are still family.

'Ohana means family - no one gets left behind, and no one is ever forgotten.  ~ Chris Sanders & Dean DeBlois


‘Ohana means family – no one gets left behind, and no one is ever forgotten. ~ Chris Sanders & Dean DeBlois

 

 

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1 Comment

Filed under Photography, Uncategorized, Writing

One response to “Still Family

  1. Phyllis Kusnitz

    Dear Kris, So very well written and unfortunately true…It depends on what the ‘was-band says about his wife…The in-laws feel they have to be loyal to their child ‘or how will it look’? Some remain friendly and I am so sorry for you, under your circumstances, that that didnt happen for you…Its is their loss and dont you ever forget it! me…We will always be family, ‘Ohana’… I am very proud of you and all you have accomplished!Too bad the children didnt experience a relationship with me, but I can see now how difficult it would have been for them to buck their father…Much love and Hugs always! Phyllis

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