In our modern American culture, while Family is always important, given the highly mobile nature of our society, we must often move away geographically from our nuclear family for school, jobs, or with our marital families. But our human desire to have close, permanent relationships on the order of family ties allows us also to form some—a few perhaps—very close relationships with our lifelong friends. Our families of friends are often just as important to us as our natal family.
I know in my family each of us five kids always developed close friendships that were like extensions of our immediate family. And we have tended to maintain, at greater or lesser constancy given where life has taken us all geographically and workwise, communication with these families of friends, for life!
My own closest family friend ties include Barbara, Rosemary, and Michael (also less frequently another Michael, hi!) from high school and early college days; Mary, Jan and less often Pattie and Orit from grad school days; Arlene, Darlene, and Althea at Zuni; and the same Jan, a newer Jan, Kathleen, Denise, Gianmichele and Zvia in Colorado. These latter from Zuni and from Colorado are the folks it will be most difficult to say goodbye to as I prepare to take the big journey back East to be closer to my main family again after retirement.
Family is a group of close social relations you can rely on to be constant and caring throughout your life. Though our modern lives often make being geographically near to our family including our family of friends difficult, we are always connected spiritually. Fortunately today’s social media technology makes it easier than ever before to check in with one another and stay updated.
I thank my family of relatives and friends—pets, too!—one and all, for the love and companionship I have been blessed with from your friendship!