Recently, I was (finally) able to watch the HBO documentary A Family is a Family is a Family. I’m sorry it took so long. It really was a beautiful little film.
Through interviews and musical interludes, the movie displays and celebrates the connection enjoyed by people of various ages, colors, genders and legal affiliation. The message is clear: it doesn’t matter what a family looks like; what matters is love.
Love makes a family. Not biology.
Love makes a family. Not country of origin.
Love makes a family. Not the number of people.
Love makes a family. Not gender or sexual orientation.
Love makes a family. Not legal documentation.
Love makes a family. Not a common address.
Although the piece didn’t address divorce specifically*, the wisdom within can (hopefully) assuage much of the guilt and shame so often endured by those who’ve chosen to live apart from a partner.
Personal Rant: Divorce is about the dissolution of a marriage; not a family. Why is that concept so difficult for our culture to embrace? Don’t we all have countless family members to whom we are not married?
As a child of divorce, I saw my parents’ relationship improve as a result of their separation. When my mom and dad entered new relationships, I benefitted as my family expanded in new ways.
As a divorced adult, I’ve cultivated a far more enjoyable relationship with my now-ex. I’ve learned and grown in a manner I wouldn’t have if I’d remained married. My family continues to evolve in new ways, and (for the most part) I’m grateful for this fluidity.
Regardless of the prescribed structure we grasped from black-and-white TV shows, each family is as unique as its members. And that’s OK, especially in the age of multi-colored, multi-cultural media.
*check out Don’t Divorce Us also from HBO