Family is one of the many lights of life. We may dislike them at times. We may get annoyed with them often. But it's your family, and in the end, nothing else matters and we love them.
Family is blood, but not always. Obviously, you have your siblings and parents, but what about a family friend who has acted like your big brother or sister? What about a mentor or a best friend? We have those, but sometimes, we have the blood-related people whom we don't speak to or have any connections with.
Then, we have the people who join our lives for all the right reasons, or maybe even for bad reasons. Everything happens for a reason, whether that be good or bad. For me, it's been good.
Some families are step-related or half-related. Naturally, if we go to introduce someone, we say, "That's my step-sister," or, "That's my half-brother." Of course, that's who they are, and we use labels to describe that person or people.
For me, and for my family, labels are non-existent.
We do not use labels in our family because we do not need them. We love each other and that's all that matters. We fight like blood. We have fun together and we make memories.
But don't get it twisted.
"Step" off, we do not use labels in our family. I call my step-brother my brother. He doesn't call my dad his stepdad. He was raised by my dad basically his whole life, so he's going to call him "dad".
Things happen. Divorce, death, other things we may not want to speak of. With grief and loss, eventually comes more happiness and joy. Losing my mother was hard, and it was terrifying for me because I didn't want to know another woman like my mom.
Grief and loss, confusion... but with that, and four and a half years later, I now have a stepmom and a step-brother, both of which I love like my own flesh blood.
You don't have to understand why some families do not use labels. Just mind your business and move on.