I try and give myself an hour in the morning for blogs. There are quite a few that I like to read and I try and find some time to scratch out a few words myself. The bloggers I read tend to be both men and women, scattered all over the country but fairly close to me in age. Our adventures differ but our outlook often agrees.
A case in point is Dora, who writes the blog "What Would Jackie Wear". She was writing recently about how our definition of family can extend well beyond our birth family.
I've always had two, one by birth and the other assembled as I went along. I've always been aware of this, but I didn't have a name for it. I reasoned that I was doing it because gay men tend to be less accepted by their birth families, and so they build their own support network. Some people refer to it as their "gay family", but I don't really care for that as my network is not limited to gay people. So I had something that didn't have a name. I'm seeing now that this is not just a gay phenomenon but something much more universal- a family by birth, expanded by choice.
She used the word 'Ohana- a Hawaiian term to describe the phenomenon. Wikipedia describes it thusly: ’Ohana can actually mean much more than the dictionary definition of family. ’Ohana can describe a community, a circle of friends, who share common goals and values.
'Ohana- a magic word to describe the precious circle that has seen me through so much and still supports me in so many ways. What a lovely name.