Do You Choose Your Family, or Does it Choose You?

It is said that you can pick your friends but you are stuck with your family. I think that as we go through life we also have the opportunity to choose family. Years ago I was involved with a camping experience called Connections. I believe that each year by the end of the week the campers and staff were family. I have directed and acted in many plays over the years and during rehearsals and the run of a show we become family. What makes these eclectic groups of people family? In both cases: love, trust, common goals.

Do You Choose Your Family, or Does it Choose You?

Within the novel Promises there are several family units: Zaccheus’ family, Amos, the Pharisee’s family, their extended families and even the family created by Jesus when He called His disciples. Each of these family units has their own understanding of love, trust and common goals. The grandfather that does not want grandchildren at the dinner table is still head of the family. The servant that sleeps on the floor at the foot of the bed to help her ailing mistress is also family.

I hope that you, the reader, noticed my personal favorite family unit: Bernice and her father, Simeon. The loving care that Bernice shows to her father is truly better than seven sons would show. Each family unit brings its own strength and dynamic to the story. I would love to know which families you liked as you read. It is important to me that I write real people. People you may have met or lived with come alive to me as I write.

If you are about to ask, “Do you draw your characters from real people?” the answer is: yes and no. I will not lie – Onnua is me – soul, body, love and feelings. I even cried on my wedding night. When you are my age you have met a lot of people and yes, some of them show up in subtle ways in the writing process.


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