Having each other’s back. The feeling that you belong to a team. People who you can count on through the good and bad times. At times, obnoxious people who are all in each other’s business. Big dinners and loud parties. Having an extra-large pose at every graduation, birthday party, or any other cause that my BIG FAT Persian family feels like celebrating. People who celebrate you. People who have the ability to infuriate you more than anyone else because they know you better than anyone else so they know exactly the right buttons to push.
Family can mean a brother who will beat you up and make fun of you but at the same time will also beat up anyone else who attempts to bully you. Family means waking up in the morning finding yourself hanging on to the edge of the bed and trying not to fall off as you see little baby feet in your face and the little ones are stretched comfortably from corner to corner on the bed sleeping so peacefully.
Before moving to Alpharetta in 1996, I grew up in prestigious town in Sweden called Vetlanda (something out of the Hansel & Gretel fairytale) with my older brother and mom and dad. My first memories of family time stem from there.
Today, my immediate family has extended to include my husband and son and daughter. However, being that I come from a BIG FAT Persian family, family to me is also defined by lots and lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins. Then of course there is the family that I was not born into, but that I chose for myself, and that is my dear life-long friends who I have grown up with. And let’s not forget my first babies, Sam & Simon, my late Labrador retrievers.
When I was in middle school and my brother was seventeen years old, he started dating a girl his age and they fell in love. She quickly became the older sister that I never had.
When they were 21 years old, they got married. I was ecstatic because now it was official, now she really was my sister. We were extremely close and shared everything with each other. At one point, I even lived with my brother and sister-in-law.
They were married for eleven years and together for 16 years; but the last few years of their marriage was rough. They had grown so far apart that they barely had anything in common to talk about anymore. Their hopes and dreams for the future were completely separate. So they decided to divorce and go separate ways. I was absolutely devastated, I felt like someone had died. I truly felt like I had lost the sister that I had grown up with.
I remember being very mad and upset at both of them. Although, as much as I hated to admit it, even I knew that something had to change. In those last few years, they were both constantly mad, anxious, and irritable.
Thankfully the divorce process was not dragged out and they each strived towards focusing on the future.
Today, my brother does not waste a single moment pursuing his passion for fishing and personal development. He is now one of the calmest people I know. And he is in a very supportive relationship with an amazing woman who truly complements who he is and encourages him to enjoy his life to the fullest.
My ex-sister-in-law is now living her “happily ever after” with a great man who she married and now has a beautiful baby boy with.
Atlanta Divorce Law Group