I’ve found myself thinking a lot about family the last few days. I am in touch with a few select members of my extended family, but my family is mainly comprised of Temple and the Jewish network I’ve built over the last decade due to fellowships I was in, group trips I was on, and organizations I’m involved with. The person listed as my emergency contact is a friend and coworker. No one in my extended family has my current address. Some people might view that as sad, but my life is full of love and support, both from the family members I do speak to and the community.
There are many reasons why I chose to stop having contact with certain members of the family and there were some relationships that were very much one-sided so I just stopped making the effort. Some people have asked me if I am open to rekindling any kind of contact with those family members and except for a couple of those people, I honestly couldn’t tell you. I am sad that I don’t have a closer relationship with more of my family and if some reached out with a genuine interest in rebuilding those bonds, I would consider it. But my chosen family, those related by blood and not, are more than enough for me.