From Lisa: Not only the one you’re born into. But also the family you create. The friends you do life with. To me there is NOTHING more vital. I’ve always been very close to my parents, sister ,cousins, Aunts and Uncles. Heck even at 49 I speak to my parents a couple times a week and my grandmother a couple times a month. Even though we live far, far apart, we are ever involved in the fabric of each other’s lives.

After I graduated college, I moved from the Appalachian mountains to good ole Austin, Texas.  It was a huge move physically, mentally and culturally, but 27 years later I’m still right here. I got married, raised a family and had a whole career here in Texas, far from family.  The secret was that I created a second family. A support network that carried me and my daughters through the ups and downs, mountain peaks and valleys of life. My second family consists of an amazing group of friends who chose to walk through this world with me… loving, supporting and caring for each other. We are there for life; the big  moments (graduations, weddings, babies) the hard moments (childbirth, teenagers, death) and everything in between (4th of a July fireworks, crawfish boils, wineries, camping).  We pray together, cry together, laugh together, play together, dance together and sometimes simply sit in silence together. 

I don’t know what I would do without my first and second families.  I know my life would be harder.  I know there would be an emptiness. I’m so grateful for the beautiful people in my life. I encourage you to create a second family. I encourage you to put in the effort it takes to make great bonds with others. Bonds that will support you for a lifetime and make this life just that much sweeter. 

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