When I was very young I had a record of the story of Snow White. It was a full-length record, with a story book, but most of the pages were gone. I remember sitting and listening to it for hours on end. I knew all the words and all the songs, and though the evil Queen was scary, I knew that things would all work out in the end.
I didn’t know then what that story would mean to me, but now I understand. It’s all about family, and that there is the family you are born into, and then there is the family that you choose.
When Snow White runs away from her evil step mother and finds a home with the Seven dwarfs, they create a family based on choice and love. This is exactly what has happened in my life.
I was blessed to marry a man who has been my best friend, lover, father of my children and the love of my life. Our three beautiful, talented, kind, caring, loving, sarcastic, funny (I could go on and on) children have been the most wonderful blessing that I could have ever imagined. They, in turn, have brought wonderful partners into our family, and we love them dearly.
Then there are “the others” our “adopted” children. I think it started with Sean’s friends, who would spend time at our house, and who all called me “mom”. I never knew who would be there, or how many, but it didn’t matter, they were ours. Each of our kids had friends who knew that our house was a safe place to be, where no questions were asked, until they were ready to talk, and where they could find a good meal and warm bed, and a listening ear.
Then there were my Tae Kwon Do kids”. The ones that knew I would be there at all the tournaments to do whatever I could to support them, whether it was holding jewelry or phones, or having food when they didn’t pack a lunch.
I have bodybuilder kids who challenge and support Ray and I, and even though they are much younger than us, are role models.
I am so grateful for the people that have come into our lives, who have blessed and enriched it in a way that I could never have imagined.
I used to try to explain who these people are and what they mean to me, but I don’t anymore. It’s simple. They are family. WE are family.
Here are Michelle's other Weekly Think.Grow.Inspire.Friday columns: