The truth about my in laws is simple: they are genuinely awesome.
And I mean both the close and distant family, on both sides.
I have posted before that they don’t get me and that I don’t fit in and that has been read by people to be a negative about them, when really it is a negative about me. They work just fine as a family unit without me inside of it, I should be the one trying to fit in and getting to know them. My previous posts were mainly regarding that struggle for me, but again it was my struggle.
I say one thing about this blog is that it is always honest. And while what I have just written may feel like I am back tracking on a previously ill-received posting, the truth is, no one has said anything negative to me about those posts at all. This is just me pulling back another layer of truth and laying it out there for everyone to read.
I started to date my wife in August but we got serious by September. A month and a half later and I am at her grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving meeting her huge family. Every single person there was cool and gracious towards me. Her grandparents, especially her grandfather, made me feel as if I had been around for years and years, trying to make sure I felt comfortable. And despite how overwhelmed I was at times, for the most part I did feel comfortable.
The same story can be told just a month later with Christmas, and the other side of the family. I sat right down into a euchre game with cousins; I got to know her aunts and uncles, was razzed a bit here and there (just like it should be) and had a great time. Holidays aren’t a great time for me for a lot of reasons I will get into in the future but the holiday season of 2007 was incredible.
And within the next calendar year I was invited to participate, and I mean really participate, not just show up, in every single event that meant a lot to the family. I was treated as if I was one of their own even though I had done nothing to earn my way aboard.
To this day they treat me this way, and even better. Some of the best support I have gotten for this blog has come from my in-laws. Some of the best support I have gotten in my life has come from them.
They are a fun group, who loves to be together. They are in a lot of ways very different from my own family, which serves as large reason why I feel uncomfortable or like I don’t fit in at times. But I feel as if I am loved and respected by them.
My mother in law in particular is a rather miraculous woman. She raised four girls, no thank you, and is a woman who knows what she wants in life. She makes me feel a closeness and a love that I have experienced only a few times. Does she always get me? Probably not. Does that ever get in the way of our relationship? It hasn’t to this point. She has had every opportunity to run and hide from my disease, to remove her daughter from a scary situation and instead she has stood in and asked what she can do to help, how can she make our lives easier.
Sam asks me all the time why I married her, and I always respond the same way “your family”. Sam is a special woman, the best woman I know. But what really separated her from every other girl I ever dated was her family. I wanted to be a part of her family, her entire family. I wanted them to know me for me (which is probably why it is upsetting to me that they don’t), and to enjoy me the way I have enjoyed them.
So to any Grobbel or Murphree or Smith or soon to be Malone reading this: I love you, being part of your family means the world to me, and thank you for always taking care of me.