Family is a difficult word and experience for me. It's loaded with memories of an abusive mother, and absent alcoholic father, and all the chaos, debts, bailiffs and near homelessness that my childhood was full of.
Yet I found myself looking forward last saturday to being with two of my brothers, Michael, and Matthew, celebrating Matthew's 40th Birthday. And celebrating my younger brother Michael's engagement to Lauren (she is far too good for him :-)
Now I'm sure he won't mind me mentioning it, but Matthew has had some huge challenges that meant he and we, didn't know if he would be around for his 40th. But here I am enjoying and celebrating him, proud of him, and enjoying being 'family'.
I'm looking forward to making more 'family' memories like this one.