Dinner With Family

Grandma Clara and Aunt Caroline were in town tonight. Caroline has a meeting at PSU tomorrow regarding her dissertation, so they’re spending the night in town before they leave again tomorrow night. Robin cooked a huge feast for us all with salmon, green bean casserole with some vegan corn bread. It actually reminded me a lot of the holidays, as Kessa and Ryan were able to make it for dinner too.

It was nice to have a family dinner with everyone, tonight. I needed the relaxed environment to help me calm myself down about a quiz and several midterm exams and projects that are due next week.

I’ve always wondered about the word, ‘family’. I feel like as a society we wrap this term up with the belief that it’s only limited to people we are related to by blood, but I would have to disagree. There are people in my life, that I feel much closer to than the people in my extended family. When I was younger I took it upon myself to find the distinction between family and friends, and through their meanings and definitions, I was able to come to the conclusion that you could consider family members friends; however, you could not consider friends family.

This is something I would beg to challenge, as dictionaries depict ‘family’ to be limited to people that share the same blood line. If this were true, then children from adoption(s), could never be considered family. Perhaps the term “legal guardian(s)” would apply, but that still would leave that person feeling as though they were an outcast, as per the definition – they would not constitute as family.

I only state this because I whole-heartedly feel as though the Kagi’s have accepted me into their family. Not as a family friend, but as a family member. Even Robin and Pat have introduced me to others as their son. We often laugh at the perplexed-looks we get, after the matter. Kessa and Kara even introduce me as their brother, so I feel extremely blessed. Blessed to have my mother and my brother as a nuclear family, as well as the Kagi’s (not as an additional unit, but) as a complimentary unit. Often times, I wish I could get both of my families to spend more time together, but with the Benologa family being so large as it is – it’s difficult to get us all within the same household, much-less the same room. I believe that’s why I set up the first few parties when I was in town as “Kagi-loga” nights. I even did it once before while I was on leave from being stationed in Okinawa.

Anyway, I have my grievances with the term ‘family’, but I know I have a solid one. Thankfully it’s not only limited to my nuclear family, but also to my extended, as well as friends and Marines that also mean the world to me. I’m lucky and fortunate to know that I have so many worthwhile father-figures, as well as mothers that look out for my welfare. Thank you to all of you that are actively in my life. I don’t know where I’d be without you all.