It's never good to start a blog entry with an apology and I would hate to make a habit out of it. That being said, I find it necessary on my part though, given how remiss I've been in my Fortune Friday duties. It's been crazy busy and exhausting, and I do apologize for missing my commitment.
First, there was that out of town vacation where 19 people in the family spent a whole week together. We all drove to Virginia and also visited Washington D.C. and as my niece, Francesca, said, that takes a LOT of love to accomplish! I'm sure at some point someone got on somebody's nerves but in the 'Fab Fam' (which is how I've been referring to this side of the family lately / my husband's immediate family), all is forgiven, understood and perhaps sometimes even forgotten. With so many different personalities to deal with, disagreements and annoyances are just bound to happen. With a family as big as my husband's (Note: He has five siblings; all but one are married; five nephews and nieces; six grandchildren total, but one is engaged so fiance is now considered another grandchild and nephew...and this is just the immediate family travelling and vacationing together. My father-in-law actually has five siblings himself so put all those extended families together and you're sure to have a riot...I mean, a clan J ), differences are sure to exist and in the end, all you can do is either embrace those differences or teach yourself how to better deal with each person so as to not end up either losing your mind or killing each other! In situations like this one, the most valuable lesson ever passed on to me which needs to be practiced is that you cannot change other people but you can change the way you perceive and deal with them.
In the final analysis though and with all objectivity in mind, I am happy to say that luckily, I have more similarities with the Fab Fam than irreconcilable differences. In the end, the most important thing is that we share the same core values of respect, dignity, honesty, family unity and love. Luckily too, we share similar interests in terms of leisure activities...movies, food, sports, etc. And that brings me to the second reason for my being busy recently. We have been working hard at being more active and have found tennis to be our perfect activity! Brothers and sisters have been playing tennis almost everyday now for the past two weeks and it's pretty amazing! My left knee is not at its best but I just love this sport so much that I just have to make do with a knee brace and a lot of prayers. It's been fun exploring this side of the family, especially since for the longest time, it seemed as if our only concept of a 'get-together' was an 'eat-and-talk-together'. Now we have sports, going out to movies, and now playing poker too, among others! This is probably the most fun I've had during the summer season in all these years here in the U.S. and I'm just really happy about it because it took me long to get here.
Yes, I come from a different family myself, hence a slightly different background too. I am only an 'in-law' to my husband's family and it took me long to get to the point where I consider myself part of them and them part of me. It is not without heartaches and difficulty before I saw that truly integrating myself with the Fab Fam does not mean shedding who I am and obliterating my roots, my side of the family. It was a struggle. But I guess I am just blessed that, not only have I received the grace to open myself, my heart to them, but more importantly, I've been given the gift to meet a family willing to open their hearts to receive me. To any in-law, that is a blessing. To a migrant in-law such as myself, it could mean everything.