“‘OHANA MEANS FAMILY; FAMILY MEANS NOBODY GETS LEFT BEHIND OR FORGOTTEN!” ~ Lilo and Stitch
Part of Hawaiian culture, ʻohana means family (in an extended sense of the term, including blood-related, adoptive or intentional). The concept emphasizes that families are bound together and members must cooperate and remember one another.
I want to start this post by stating that “Family” is more than genetics to me. Family are the people I choose to have in my life and the people I care about the most. My family is so colorful we might as well be rainbow people. My family comes from all walks of life. I love them all. Each and every individual one of them. We don’t always agree or get along, but we are there for each other no matter what. So when asked to write about a family member I dislike I am at a loss for an answer.
I could try to tell you about a time that I did not like a family member and how much they hurt me and others that I cared about. I could tell you about being young and viscous and cold hearted all because a family member chose to take me away from everything I had ever known up to that point. I could tell you of the anger and hatred I had for a specific family member when I was a teenager, simply because I was young, angry, and confused. I could even tell you about previous family members that abused me and made my life a living hell. But in the end I will not out anyone in my life past or present.
My family now, is my chosen family. Whether they be genetically connected to me at relative level, or we have no blood in common. They are mine. I choose to claim them. I choose to have them in my life, warts and all. I know what I have gotten in to. But so do they. They too, have chosen me. They too, choose to accept me as is. We are not perfect, we may be broken, but we have each other and that’s all that matters to me.