Claire Martin

Bigger than the sum of our parts.

I live in a blended family.
Apparently, according to the 2011 census, so do most of us.
I remember when it wasn’t always the greatest thing though.
I remember living in London, England, it was in the 70’s and my family was splitting up – we became a “broken” family. I hated that, that epitaph.
Suddenly, no longer the oldest (ergo: the wisest) child in a family, I found myself unceremoniously usurped, and became the second oldest child. This resulted in most of my teenage years being spent rather angry and withdrawn, and I worried about my future.
I shouldn’t have.
No matter the title, no matter how you feel about it.. we are family. We are in it, in “this”, together. Canada is a country of immigrants, and we belong here by building ties that bind. I am more tied to this country than to any blood relative in England. I love here. I live here. And I will die here.
My future is here now.. and I am proud to be part of a blended, not broken, family. I have inherited 3 wonderful boys (now men). With family in -of all places- Campbell River! Me!?
Hoards of people turn up at our doorstep come Christmas and, whether I like it or not, (whether I like them or not) they are my family.
(For the record, I secretly love it, and them.).
This weekend, my other half’s ex’s new family lost a member to suicide, and I am devastated. 2016 has proven to be an absolutely shitty year for so many reasons – but losing a young “extended family member” is as bad as it gets.
I have reached out to my other half’s ex.. to offer my profound sense of sadness at her loss, and she has responded with gratitude.
Here’s the thing. WE ARE BIGGER THAN THE SUM OF OUR PARTS. That’s the beauty of being a member of a blended family.
If you’re struggling with the new world order, of who’s child belongs to who, and where you should spend Christmas…remember that you are still part of big wonderfully messy family.
Embrace it. Love it.
Because in a blink of an eye, it can be gone.

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