Five years ago this week, David and I were preparing for our wedding day. We got married on the weekend of the Feast of the Holy Family and with our wedding anniversary and this feast day approaching as well as our recent trip home to the US and the holiday season, I’ve been thinking about family a lot. I figured I’d share some of my thoughts here.

We went to the US for a family wedding recently. Usually I associate weddings with adding to and extending a family which seems joyous.  But I’d never really thought about it from a parents’ perspective. For mothers and fathers, it makes sense that there could also be a sense of loss — the feeling that your child is no longer just yours, the worry that maybe the “new family” will trump the “old family,” what about splitting holidays or sharing grandkids. For a week, I watched as my mother-in-law grappled with these feelings among others. I tried to support her and let her know how loved and important she is to me and to everyone in her life.  I tried to keep my cool and diffuse the situation, while acknowledging her feelings as valid. But when someone spoke to her disrespectfully, I don’t think I’ve ever been as openly, visibly, and publicly angered. I came to her defense quickly and with fire. My reaction surprised me because I am usually pretty slow to anger. The only times my fuse is short is when it has to do with family. And that’s when I realized that David’s mom and dad, Marcia and Don, are more than just my “in-laws,” people I’m connected to by marriage; they are my true family as sure as my own mother and brother. And I love them fiercely and deeply.