Harlen's Real Family
Updated: Jan 11
There is the family that you were born with and the one that you acquire.
You have no control over the family that fate gives you. They might be selfish, dishonorable and otherwise loathsome. Or they might be awesome. One has no say.
One the other hand, the family that you acquire is all on you. It warms my heart to see that even though his "blood" has literally disowned him, Harlen has assembled his own tribe. They are not my tribe, or that of his mother. They are his. It is quite beautiful.
Know that Harlen and I constantly do things together. As we travel about I have observed a cadre of people that truly love him, for him. They go out of their way to interact with him. They miss him when he isn't with me. And it is truly beautiful. Just the other day I was going to his uncle's house. Brian was genuinely saddened and disappointed that Harlen wasn’t with me. He made sure that I knew that next time Harlen was expected. At his uncles house, Harlen is just another kid in their gaggle thereof. He is part of their family. They love him and he loves them and it is beautiful.
There is a fellow at the grocery, a Bryan of a different spelling. Brilliant man, works at a high tech job and worker that he is, fills a part time position at HEB. He always stops what he is doing so as to talk to Harlen. Once he was talking to his supervisor when Harlen and I walked into his department. Bryan instructed his boss to wait while he and Harlen chatted, unrushed for several minutes. Eventually he asked Harlen, not me, if he could go back to talk to his supervisor. Know that if I am alone Bryan never fails to ask about Harlen and tells me to tell him "hi." Yes, it is beautiful.
There is a waitress at his favorite restaurant who adores him. No matter how busy she is, or which tables she is taking care of, she always comes by to talk to Harlen. Secondarily, she talks to Sandra and me. And guess what...it is truly beautiful. Strangers love him too. This last Saturday, Harlen and I went to a car show. Of course, we had a dog in tow. A lady approached Harlen and spent a long time talking to him about our pup, Domino. She was truly enjoying interacting with him. I was on the periphery of the conversation, enjoying watching them chat. It was warm, friendly and genuine. And you might have guessed , it was beautiful.
It would stretch the limit of verbosity to recount all of the people that love him. The point is that Harlen has acquirred his actually family. They are plentiful, kind and loving.
And it is, you guessed it...beautiful.
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