Now, many years later, I have a huge new family of folks I've met along the way and we decided to keep each other. It only occured to me yesterday that, with few exceptions, I met those folks through my love of books.
Especially gay romance. These folks started out as names and icons on social media and progressed to instant messages, Skype, phone calls and, finally, meeting in real life.
I used to worry that meeting people in real life would ruin my idea of who they were. I worried needlessly. These folks are even more awesome in the flesh.
And they give the best hugs, reassurance, advice, shoulders to cry on, encouragement and whatever else I might need. Just as importantly, they trust me to be there for them, which I am.
What's even better? My chosen family and given family are now tightly interwoven, accepting each other and caring for each other as I do for each of them.
To all those in my family, and to those who'll be added in time, big hugs. I cherish you all.