When I was young, I was fairly confident that we had the most normal family ever. Translation? I thought we were average. Oh, we had our fun, owned a family cabin, spent time together…but still, it wasn’t anything that seemed outrageous to me.
But after I had moved out and gotten married, my parents divorced. It wasn’t a surprise by then, and in fact was a long time coming once it actually happened. Change, and more change. We each had to figure out how things all fit together afterwards, but it’s the kind of thing you just do.
Fast forward a few more years. My dad remarried, and now not only does he have a new wife to share his life with, I have three stepsisters. And while I never expected it, I realized early on how lucky I was. Lucky, you ask? How could I call it lucky to have so much change to deal with? Well, you can either focus on the obstacles in life or you can look for the blessings. I choose the latter.
As my sister and I welcomed my dad’s new wife to the family at their wedding, I read the following quote from Oprah Winfrey:
“I’ve always known that life is sweeter when you share it. I now realize it gets even sweeter when you expand the circle.”
And to me, it’s just that simple. Instead of getting caught up in the labels and definitions, I just think…family. I didn’t lose anything, in truth, I gained. That day, I gained three sisters. No, we haven’t known each other a lifetime, but if you think about it, I just more than tripled the amount of chances for happiness in my family. Not only do I get to see my dad happy and living a full life again, I have the chance to connect and share with three new people. And if you really want to get crazy, do this math: that’s three more sisters who may get married or settle down with someone special and have kids. More family, and more happiness.
Divorce is pretty common these days. I guess in our own way, we’re still pretty average. Normal. Not outrageous at all. But as I smile at my sisters’ children, or hear news of my youngest sister’s engagement, all I can say is…this is my circle. And I love watching it expand.