Family

“Families are like fudge… mostly sweet with a few nuts.”
— Author Unknown

I am a child of God, and I know where I come from.

I am a grandchild to pioneering grandparents and great-grandparents that set out to this part of the country in search of the best life they could find for their families.

I am a daughter to a hard-working father, now deceased, who owned a small trucking company, and a life-long stay-at-home mother who still holds the title, “Best Cook Ever,” and made pie crusts from scratch.

I am a sibling to an older brother, now deceased, and an older sister, my longest and dearest friend.

I am an aunt to some great nephews and their wives.

I am a great-aunt to some truly amazing kids that are all wonderfully unique.

I am a niece to some spontaneous and fun-loving aunts and uncles that helped to raise me. All but one aunt are now deceased.

I am a cousin to some wonderful cousins. One died much too early, and his untimely death changed me, and our extended family dynamics, forever.

I am the wife of a loving, smart, funny, opinionated, kind and complicated man that I have known since I was 13 years old. I am still trying to figure him out.

I am the mother to the two most beautiful and brilliant children to ever walk on the face of the earth. Yes, you heard it here first.

With the exception of God, none of us are, or ever have been perfect. Especially yours truly.  Just ask those closest to me.  (Just don’t tell my dog.  He thinks I am perfect.)

We have laughed, cried, fought, made up, celebrated and mourned together. We have had our disagreements and have them still, if you can somehow believe that. We have dropped everything when one of us was rushed to the hospital. We have spent hours on the phone together. We have looked at thousands and thousands of family pictures and tried to figure out just how to convert old slides to digital. We have enjoyed sandwiches and chips on Christmas Eve together after a pan of chicken spaghetti exploded on top of the stove.  We have researched family history and tried to preserve what we can for those to come after us. We have tried to figure out what the doctor can’t seem to figure out. We have wished for days gone by. We have struggled with loved ones with serious addictions.  We have wished for kids to grow up. We have mourned the fact that kids are grown up. We have consumed millions of calories together. We have hosted hundreds of birthday parties. We have made the decision that we needed a break for a little while. We have prayed thousands of prayers for one another. We have brought our children to God and asked Him to guide and protect them. We fought back the tears when we watched kids walk down the aisle at graduations and weddings. We have hauled gifts hundreds of miles so that we could celebrate one single Christmas in the mountains together. We have gotten up at sunrise to go water skiing while the water was still smooth and were rewarded with breakfast afterward. We have wondered if our country is headed toward prosperity or disaster. We have bailed each other out. We have not bailed each other out. We have attended countless kids’ ball games and concerts and recitals.  We swelled with pride at Carnegie Hall watching one of our own on the stage.  We have struggled with how to care for aging parents. We have played countless card games and domino games and board games. We have made some hard decisions that have not been popular. We have proud memories, and we have regrets. We have wondered how in the world Mother will survive without Daddy. We have watched Mother survive without Daddy. We have spent countless hours on the internet researching various diseases that have sprung in our midst. We have picked and shelled black-eyed peas together. We have eaten black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day.  We have screamed to God when we didn’t understand.  We have worked long hours in our jobs and sacrificed the things we wanted to do for the things we needed to do.  We have stayed up past midnight or risen before sunrise cooking for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter meals. We have disappointed each other and hurt each other.  We have worried and prayed for a way to pay the bills when the money was not in our accounts.  We have loved deeply.  We have spontaneously jumped on an airplane after dinner to see a newborn niece across the state without packing a single thing to take along.  We held the hand of the most special man on earth and prayed and cried as he passed from this life to the arms of Jesus.  We have marveled at the letter written by great-grandmother, imploring her children to meet her in Heaven as she was dying.  We have done hundreds of other things together, both good and not so good.

It’s complicated, and it’s simple.  We are family.

One of the last pictures of my “angel” brother

Waiting for the glorious day in Heaven when we will all be united again.

D All Original Content — © fivefs.wordpress.com — All Rights Reserved
Advertisements

Faith

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
— Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)

I gave my life and my heart to God in high school, some 35 years ago now. Perhaps I will delve into that experience a bit more at a later date, but it still remains very personal and special to me, as do many other times that God has spoken to me over my 52 years of life.  This relationship defies words, or at least the words that I can give it. It hasn’t made my life perfect by any stretch, but it has helped me to savor the amazing times, bask in the peaceful times, summon courage in the difficult times, and simply endure the impossible times better and with more purpose than I ever could without my loving Heavenly Father at my side. I cannot imagine living life outside of this constant, abiding love that greets me every single day.

I am a wholly imperfect servant, but I remain a servant today, imperfections and all.  I am grateful every morning that I wake up to so many blessings in my life, and I strive to never take those blessings for granted… especially my Five F’s.

The verse that I listed above is one of the first verses that I committed to memory back in my high school days.  I actually had a poster on my wall with a beautiful nature scene and this verse overlaid on it. As a new Christian at that time, it was a concept that I struggled with.  Thirty-five years later, I still struggle with it at times, but I now have many instances of walking in faith to draw strength and hope from. I am grateful for each and every situation that God has both blessed me with and pulled me through, often using his angels disguised as family and friends along the way.

A moment of inspiration in Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove this summer, standing beneath trees that are almost 2000 years old; it just took my breath away

Sometimes faith is the only option.

But always… in everything… faith is the best option.

Been there… done that.  Need to keep doing that.

D All Original Content — © fivefs.wordpress.com — All Rights Reserved