A few weeks ago I watched my father and my step-father walk a 5 mile Stroll for Epilepsy on their combined four bad knees. Two men I love dearly, two men who have modeled for me what it means to be a man, a father, a family member, a citizen, two men who had barely exchanged much beyond a “hello” through much of my life walked along side each other for the last mile or so…talking…about what I am not sure.

Maybe sports? Their knees? Who knows.

Walking behind them I was filled with a tremendous joy…as I realized that they are part of an unlikely family. My child’s grandfathers are each other’s family. They are bound by their mutual love for me, my husband, and Ezzy.

Having been a member of an fantastic extended “step” family for most of my life, I do understand, that family is not about blood or marriage or names. These things can bind you to people who aren’t your family…it can also exclude the people who are your family.

Family is about choice, and it is about action. You show up, even when it’s tough…scratch that. You show up because it’s tough.

I know I have touched upon this in one of my previous posts, but I wanted to focus on it for a moment today. I want meditate on my tremendous gratitude.

It can be hard to explain how far a little note or a word of encouragement goes. But to the people who have popped up from my past in the last two years just to say a few kind words, to tell me they are thinking of us, thank you. While I myself follow no organized religion, there are people who pray for Ezzy daily…in all different ways, to many different Gods. Thank you, I am all for hedging our bets on that one. To our friends who have found so many wonderful and creative ways to show your kindness–both from down the street or from far away, thank you.

I have no words to properly express my gratitude for the remarkable and larger than life unquestioning and unwaivering support of my parents and siblings and their partners…I cannot document their kindnesses. They give me such hope, when I have had none left. I do not know how I can ever repay this debt.

And most of all I am thankful for my darling husband. He is the steady strength in our little family. He works so hard and asks for so little. Without him there would be no Ezzy. Without him there would be no home.