I do not know if “fragmented” is the correct term to use, but it is what I feel applies to my wonderfully chaotic life.
I am one of the luckiest women in the world:
I have two mums.
I have three dads.
I have two brothers.
I have five sisters.
I have a dozen Aunties and Uncles.
I have a million and twenty nine thousands cousins (or so it seems).
When I tell people that I have three dads, their first reaction is usually “What the hell? HOW?”
It is a long and convuleted story, and in all honesty, not one for a public forum. But in a nutshell, I have three men in my life, one of which is deceased but still an important part, and two who would lay down their lives in order to make sure I was safe. My dads are pretty much my safe haven. One is here where I live now (and cooks me really yummy meals at least twice a week!) and one is where I am originally from. But I know a single phone call is all it would take to have both of them come to my aid. All three have kept me safe, warm, fed, sheltered. They have influenced me and my decisions in ways that only a father can. They have the prestige which comes with the title “Dad.” All three of them are men that I am proud to point out to people, usually with the words “Thats my Daddy right there. Be jealous!”
My mums are both amazing, strong, kind hearted and occasionally frustrating women. Again, one is here where I live and one is in my home town. My mothers are so important in my life! Even if only to ring and say what my weight loss has been, or to say “beotch, I want me some of that home made ice cream!” Even if its to whinge that I feel sick and I want chicken noodle soup and being 80 km away is no excuse not to bring it to me! Both of these women are also major influences in my life, one keeps me sane while the other is tea cup. They’re women who I wish to be like, at some point in my life. They show me that I can achieve whatever it is I want; they get angry on my behalf; and sometimes they tell me to eat some cement – which pisses me off at that time but tends to be what I need to hear. I am My Mommas baby, but I am my other mothers girl too. That makes me feel special.
My five sisters are all amazing in their own rights. Yes, they all piss me off at some stage. Yes, there are days when I may want to strangle them with their own tongues. And yes, I may call them names sometimes. But that doesn’t mean anyone else has the right to. I am the first one in if any of my sisters needs back up. I am the first one there if they call me and go “I need help.”
I know I piss them off too. All my feelings are no doubt reciprocated! But that is the beautiful part of being someones sister. It doesn’t matter what is going on, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t spoken in a week or a month, it doesn’t matter if the last thing you told them was where to go! They will always be there for you, through thick and thin and fat and skinny.
My oldest sister has given me a beautiful nephew who is one of the centres of my world. He is my “dude”, and I am his Aunty Gert. He tells me everything, even when he is gonna get in trouble for it. Why? Because between mummy and aunty Gert, “They just know everyfink!”
While she and I don’t always see eye to eye, she is someone who when the chips are down, will come through for me. She is there to wipe my tears; she is there to bitch slap me when I need it. And, lets be honest, she’s there when my land lords come and my house is disgusting, and I need someone to distract the tradies while I do a mad dash!
Let’s not forget the way she likes to introduce my cat into KFC, because “Cat needed some cheer up food too! She told me!”
The next sister is my dancer. She is another one who frustrates me no end, but I love like crazy. We have our own special call, and words, we know how to speak without using verbal language. We know that a certain look says “Drop it before Mum drops you!”
I moved out of home when she was 7, and I remember that her birthday was a week after I moved out. It was the first time I wasn’t there when she woke up, and I was in tears. She and I have a relationship that revolves around “You’re a loser. Your bum stinks, your face looks funny, and Mum pays your friends.”
Yes, there are times when I want to kick her patootie so hard that my shoe laces come out her nose, but at the end of the day, I’m her Sisi and she is my Peaknuckle.
My third sister and I have gotten a lot closer in the last twelve months. We sit and talk in pig latin, we sneak out for swims, we sit across the table and fling insults. We love each other! She and I sit and have conversations now. We talk about how annoying dad is, and how sometimes, she just needs to ignore him, because he is only stirring. She talks to me about school, and friends, and her boyfriend. She shows me that there are things outside of my sphere that I should consider. Being the little animal lover that she is, there are times when I rib her to the point of tears over it – Like when I had her convinced a local chinese shop sold Orca Soup! She is different to a lot of other girls her age. She has a kind of maturity that extends beyond her 12 years.
My fourth sister is a different kettle of fish. She and I very rarely see eye to eye, but She knows I love her and I know she loves me. This little cherub is definitely one-of-a-kind – she has a different view on the world, and you never know what she is going to come out with! Being a Titanic fan, she can watch the movie over and over and over again, all the while picking the crap out of it, and telling you what really happened.
Her view on the world is one that I struggle to understand. Sometimes I just do not comprehend what goes through her head, and while I know it frustrates her when I need clarification, She always tells me in a different way so I understand. I think she and I will get closer as she gets older, but right now we’re pretty tight anyway.
The last little sister is the baby. She is in grade two this year, knows the ins and outs of the neighborhood child-politics, has no problem saying it how it is and knows what she wants. She is exactly what you would want most children to be – self confident, friendly, personality assured, and lovable.
She is at the age now where she is a bit clingy, and I know that frustrates the older ones (and me, if I am to be honest) but I know that in ten years time I’ll miss the days when I can just grab her up and hold her. She is another one who I think I will get closer to as she gets older. She knows I am her sister, but I think how it works has eluded her somewhat.
My two brothers are both fully qualified in their trades. I am closer to one than the other, but I know that, as with my big sister, If I needed them they would be there. There really isn’t a lot to say on them: they’re both so simple and straightforward that they know their advantages, they know what I need, and they know that I love them. Sure, we have had some disagreements, but realistically, what siblings don’t? They annoy me, tease me, pick on me. But they also pick me up when I need it, they let me know whats going on. They’re always there in the background, even if I havent seen them in a long time.
None of these amazing siblings of mine are what is referred to as “Full Blood.” But to me, blood counts for nothing. Family is not blood. Family is who is there for you when you need them. They are who love you, need you, value you, and above all else – want you. They are all my brothers and sisters.
The way that my fragmented family has impacted me is beyond what people expect. I have been taught that to love is free, to have a family is free, and to be part of a chaotic, frustrating but loving unit is invaluable. It has taught me that in the long run, blood counts for sweet F.A. It has shown me that sometimes, family doesn’t come from your relations – it comes from your heart. Yes, in the words of Garth Brooks: “Blood is thicker than water. But love is thicker than blood.”
My family is confusing to most people. Some people don’t even try to understand. Some people try to discredit that fact that I call of these people my family. To those people I say:
“You say I am confusing. Yet, I am the one who has more love, more care, more influential people than you can hope for. YOU are the unlucky one. YOU are the one missing out.”
My family is not built on blood. My family is built on Love. They are my super power. What’s yours?
“Our family never shared the same last name
But our family was a family the same
(And they say) Blood is thicker than water
Oh, but love is thicker than blood”