This was the first Father’s Day without my dad, but the first time I got to meet my future husband’s family.
It was like slipping into a new pair of jeans that fit just right. I felt like I was part of the family. I fit in so well. I felt like I belonged.
Of course I was nervous to meet everyone. I thought to myself, “Will they approve of me?” “Will they accept me?” All these questions flooded my mind, but still I was excited. I kept thinking about my dad and how proud of me he would be for building the life I wanted. I remembered how excited I was to have my boyfriend meet my parents.
It was a very hot day and we were working on my car. I forget exactly if it was brakes or the oil, but I do remember sweating miserably and trying our hardest to get off one bolt to start the repair. We were ready to give up until my parents showed up to help when my boyfriend, with all his strength, finally loosened the bolt we were working on.
My dad steps out of his truck with my mom and walks towards us. When we met I looked at my parents and back at my boyfriend and said, “This is the man I love”. My boyfriend and father shook hands and my mom gave him a big hug like moms do. My dad was already impressed that my boyfriend had his own tools and was actually getting his hands dirty. That’s the thing about my dad, if you were hardworking, he liked you from the get go.
One of the most memorable experiences of the whole weekend was the photoshoot we all had on the back porch overlooking the lake. Annie, AJ’s mother had been waiting for a whole year since Covid started to meet her first grandchild and that dream finally came true. AJ’s sister was the one who caught the heartfelt and tearfilled moment and snapped a pic. Up until that moment we had all been dreaming of the day we would meet baby Miles. I’m so grateful that I was able to be a part of that day.
I’ve learned in life that family doesn’t have to be blood. It can be your best friend or your pets. Family is what you decide for yourself. I choose the family I love and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I’ve been through a lot of shit but I’ve met some incredible people along the way. People who I know have my back and will support me when I need their guidance. I feel like in the beginning of my life I was painted as a liar and a whore by my own blood family. I had to distance myself for a while from the family members who didn’t support my journey to self acceptance and love. When I finally broke free from their control I was able to meet new people who would validate my traumatic experiences instead of blaming me for the crimes of someone else. I was able to collect and build my new family. I am grateful to this very day.
I hope wherever you are in your current life, you have a family that loves you. I hope they support you when you come to them in need. I hope they don’t turn a blind eye to your suffering. I hope they validate your feelings and help you break free from the control of those who don’t suit you.
Thank you for listening, friends.