The family you make

Being an only child I am a strong believer in making friendships that extend your family. I have a couple of friends that I consider siblings. I have other friends that are so close to me I don't know what I would do without them. For the most part, these friendships weather the storm of distance. I have very few close friends close by where I am currently living, however, when you make good friendships and truly connect with people time and distance do not seem impede the value or comfort of the friendships.

By nature I am a caretaker. I like to care for the one's I love and see them well. When I thought I would give myself to an intentional community and dedicate myself to social justice issues. I idolized Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement. I lived and worked in a Catholic Worker for awhile, I considered leaving school and giving myself to that life and serving god. I can't really say what happened that changed that. But events unfolded such that I realized that was not the path for me. While I craved community and understanding, it was not in that form. I work to live my life in the spirit and make all my interactions with other's meaningful and honest. I fail of course, but like Thomas Kelly says, "begin again where you are."

My current life is the most stable and fulfilling that it has been in years. I have a happy, loving relationship with my family. I am grateful for that, because it did not always seem like that was a possibility. I know in my heart that my life would not be the way it is now if it wasn't the love and support of my "chosen" family. The friendships that sustain me through sorrows and joys have allowed me to come to the place I am now.

I am planning on going the route of working professional these days. I want a salaried job that will fulfill my need to serve others but allow me to live in the "style to which I have become accoustomed." But not out of some middle-class need for stability, but to pay back those that have helped me when I most needed it. I want to be able to step in and make sure my friends have a safe harbor, whether that is a bed for a night or a month, or food in their bellies, or a monatary loan.

I have been thinking about all this recently. Two very dear people to me are suffering and I feel as though there is nothing more I can do to help that to be "present" with them. And know that means a lot, but at the same time it is hard to see someone you love suffer. I thought to turn to Dorothy Day and Thomas Kelly's writings today, hoping for something that could comfort me. But neither offered the comfort I desired, the words of wisdom I hoped for and found so many other times from them, did not speak to my condition. So I am left with prayer and while that is still a powerful tool and comfort, it leaves me still feeling that I am watching them being swept away in a torrent and can offer nothing, nothing to bouy them or support them.

We are all broken people to one degree or another. We are all struggling under our demons and inner conflicts. But how can one spread light and love? Its it patience and prayer? Or a solid prescence in the lives of others saying I am not going anywhere and you had better not leave me, damn you.

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