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What is family?

I don’t come from a big family.  I don’t have lots of aunts, uncles, cousins.  I have one brother.  I love my parents dearly, and over the years I’ve come to regard my closest friends as family – if you’re reading this you know who you are!

For me, good friends are as important as family, sometimes more so because you choose them.  As I’ve got older my circle of friends has become smaller, but old friends have remained.  Those friends who know me, warts and all, but still want to be around me.  Who lift me up and know when to tell me to get a grip!

These thoughts have been running through my head this past week and then I read a lovely email from the Charles Dickens Museum. It began with this quote, “We have grown older since then, and quiet, and steady: liking nothing better than to spend our Easter, and all our other holidays, in some quiet nook, with people of whom we shall never tire.”  Taken from the Greenwich Fair essay.

The email contained examples of Dickens as a writer who was deeply attached to the importance of family life, and went on to talk about the family being a much broader concept to Dickens.  Not just the traditional nuclear family, “Not necessarily your parents, but those in whom you feel safe, valued and loved.”

We all deserve to feel this way – safe, valued, loved.  As I’ve discovered over the years, that doesn’t always come from ‘blood’ family. 

So whoever you are, wherever you are, have a very Happy Easter.  Enjoy the long weekend with your chosen family and eat chocolate in a quiet nook.


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