Friends and family. These are two words that are often used together and in my opinion are inter-changeable. Sometimes it's hard to differentiate between the two. Families are joined together by blood and friends are joined together by choice. We have lots of expectations of our family members who sometimes let us down, but thank God we have the opportunity to create our own "families" through the connections we make at work, school, church, clubs, etc. If you think about it, some of us spend more time with friends than with family members. In the Black culture especially, the extended family is very important. We tend to create "play brothers" and "play sisters" and have huge Baptism ceremonies where we honor God-parents. Then God-brothers and sisters are added to the list. When I was a little girl, we didn't dare called an elder by their first name. If it wasn't Mr. or Mrs. it was Aunt or Uncle so and so. So what is my point? Family members can be your best friends and friends can be just like family. The way we treat each other determines which it will be.
I dedicate this blog to Sam and Tina Baldwin...my play brother and sister-in-law. They were there for me at a time when I thought I would totally be able rely on my family who was no where to be found in my time of need. Sam and Tina went above and beyond to be of service to me and my mom and never asked for anything in return. I will forever be grateful for their generosity. Two months ago, I would say they were friends of the family, but today I say they are my family and I ain't playing.