Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Family is Who You Make It

The Family on Rob's 82nd

Today I went to a birthday lunch with my family. The patriarch of the family is Rob who is now 82 years old and who had chopped down 30 trees in the last two days on his wood lot.

My partner and I were, in our usual way, a little bit late. I was up late last night putting what I hope are the final edits on the portion of my memoir which I will be submitting to a book contest within the week. I've been working on the revisions and edits a lot this week. Yesterday I got up early and ate breakfast, then I entered some revisions while I had my coffee. When the class I knew was in the pool at my gym was scheduled to be done, I turned off the laptop and went for a swim. That was a good idea and a nice balance to hours on the computer earlier this week. After showering, I went to a cafe for lunch and typing in more revisions. Then to chiropractic (I'm at the end of treatment for a car accident a few months ago). Afterward to my regular Friday meet-up with a writing friend to write and talk about writing - at which I, yes, entered more edits. Thursday night I closed down a cafe writing; last night I couldn't close it down, as my friend pointed out, because it was a 24-hour cafe. But it was midnight when I headed home - with all of my edits done, the manuscript uploaded as a backup, and a copy emailed to my partner who agreed to read it for edits and consistency.

So I didn't jump out of bed with the sun this morning. And was a little slow to get going. We were only 30 minutes late. And another family member was late due to traffic from an accident on the freeway.

It was a good day. Good conversation and good friends and food and fun.

And it was family. But not family in terms of the law except for a few. And it didn't matter. All of us there today have been family for many years except for the newest one: Susie, Rob's girlfriend since my partner's mother died.

So today family consisted of the birthday boy Rob (82) and his live-in girlfriend since 2006; my partner, who is Rob's step-daughter (Susie is not my partner's mother), and me; Rob's oldest daughter, Diane, and her adult son; Diane's step-daughter and her son. So there was a legally recognized thread in the gathering: Rob, Diane, Diane's son. But mostly we're a self-selected group of people who call each other family - through widowhood and divorces and remarriages and LGBT relationships.

But we're family. And no one can tell us otherwise.

Happy birthday, Rob, and thanks for taking us all on in your clan.
Rob's family invented these typewriters.