In my case, divorce has given me a new family. Yes, they're the same people who have been there all along. But it's a new family in that we have new ways (or sometimes lack thereof) of communicating with one another. For example, I only get to see several members of my family at a time. The five of us have not been in the same room together in a long time. I've had to get used to running around to several different places just so I can make time to see all of the members of my family. I've had to get used to having lot's of one-on-one time with each member of my family. It makes me sad at times, but I have to admit that the challenge of it all are what makes my relationships with each individual much richer.
I never used to work at making time for my family. I took it for granted that we all would be together, whether it be around the dinner table, at Christmas or just chilling and watching a movie. That died along with my parents' marriage. Now I have to work to get to know everyone as individuals. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? I should already know each member of my family, right? All I can tell you is that it's different when a family is broken. You have to get to know everyone as they are in this new situation. Personalities can be altered and opinions/viewpoints can change.
It's been a challenge, but I can say that the effort I put forth (and the heartbreak I sometimes have over not being able to see everyone all at once) shows how much my family means to me. Despite everything that's happened, it's still worth it to see them. I still need a mother, father, sister and brother. My kids deserve to have grandparents, aunts and uncles who play a role in their lives.
I've learned that life situations or events don't make up a family -- people make a family. Messed up, wholly imperfect people. But still people. People I love and need in my life. Because whether I like it or not, they've impacted my life. And I wouldn't be me without them.
My siblings and I saying good-bye to our beloved dog Nike
(couldn't have done it without them)
My parents and me on my wedding day