It is said that blood is thicker than water. Having seen both, I would agree. What blood does not appear to be thicker than is politics and emotions.
I recently returned from a family gathering from which a number of family members were missing. I don't know and don't care to know the particulars, but it is safe to say that something got said and some feelings got hurt, to the point that said family members decided not to attend an even that has been going on for seven years now.
I won't speak for the host, but I will say I missed their presence, although no enough to keep me from having a good time. If anything, I would argue they were the ones who missed out. But that is neither here nor there. I have not been asked to take sides and at this point don't plan to. (For some reason, I am suddenly reminded of the old adage, "be careful what you wish for.")
Perhaps it is because I live a fair distance from most of my family, but I have never caused or been the recipient of that level of animosity where family members are concerned. Perhaps it's because I haven't cared enough or worried enough about what they thought.
Until I was almost 12 years of age, I didn't even know I had aunts, uncles, and cousins. We became close for a time, drifted apart for a time, and then came back together to some extent. Perhaps that puts me in a good place as far as balancing family goes. I don't know.
I do know that I have received some push back from family on occasion because of my political views, which admittedly do not line up with the majority of my family. Said push back has, in my case, been temporary. I suspect that my family, being what it is, will find some way to come back together before this time next year. Unless it doesn't. We are, as those who know us will attest, a proud and stubborn clan.
What is interesting to me these days is that the people I felt closest to in my teens are people I sometimes am not really sure I know. At least they are people I don't often talk with, while a cousin I hardly knew growing up has been the family member I perhaps most relate to and have the most in common with.
It's funny sometimes how life works out.