My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Sunday, October 30, 2011

family... near and far...

Jim and Sarabeth camping last weekend
How sweet is that picture of Sarabeth and her daddy, my brother Jim? Those of you who are long time blog readers... she was just two when I started blogging and now she's such a big girl... and such a sweetheart. Sarabeth just turned nine. Jamie is closing in on seven, which means that I've been blogging almost seven years. I started just the day after she was born, and talked about the dramatic circumstances surrounding her birth.

Life marches on, doesn't it? Since I started blogging I have lived in six different places. I have had the SAME car the whole time. I have lost and gained the equivalent of three adults. My oldest child was eighteen at the time and now my youngest child is almost 18. It's been quite an adventure, hasn't it?

Today is a super lazy Sunday for me. I slept late - after six! I ran out for a few things that I forgot to buy yesterday and then went RIGHT back to bed. I slept until 11. I knew at the end of last week that I was really feeling completely exhausted, not the normal fatigue, a really deep BONE tired. I'm glad I got the extra sleep in today. I'm sure it will help.

I forgot my camera when I headed out this morning which is a bummer because it was such a beautiful morning. There was a hard frost last night and the colors are so rich and deep... I love fall. I would never want to decorate my house in fall colors, really, although I do have the sage green/chocolate brown pattern in my room... it's almost as if the colors are so perfect that they're impossible to reproduce indoors.

I had a great chat via facebook messages with my niece Tiffany last night. She's the oldest girl of the grandchildren... my brother Michael's stepdaughter (but we really don't do steps in our family... family is family... blood or marriage it's all the same)... I don't talk about this often but my brother Michael - who is the middle of the five of us kids - is a Jehovah's Witness which takes him out of the picture over holidays. He's very family oriented and has three beautiful kids - Tiffany, Cory and Matthew. Tiffany is... 23? I think? And Cory is 14... Matthew is 12... I think. Tiffany is married and has a little boy, Ethan James, who is 3 1/2. She is pregnant with her second baby. Anyways... she is no longer a Witness and is interested in being with our family on Thanksgiving. This just warmed my heart beyond words... my parents are going to be in New York over Thanksgiving and I'm not sure what my aunts are doing - Aunt Ginger and Uncle Carl are in Rome (Italy, not Georgia) right now and I don't know when they'll be back. My cousin Christie has just had her second baby so I'm hoping to get to cuddle him and get my baby fix. And of course, I need to see my Codester and my daughter-in-law Marquee. Austin hasn't seen Devin in months, since Devin has graduated and they don't get to see each other every day at school. We miss our peeps.

Anyways, Tiffany and I had a great talk about family and how important it is to know who you are and where you come from, whether by nature or nurture. Our families - both sides - have such rich, spiritual, fascinating history. I have such a deep need to pass that along, to share the stories of who we are with the next generation. My brother David's family has been alienated from the rest of us for several years and it breaks my heart to not have the relationship with his babies that I have with Sarabeth and Jamie. Ultimately, I pray, they will find their way back to us just as Tiffany wants to do. In the meantime, we just go on loving them unconditionally and praying for their health, wealth, safety, happiness and well being.

I've got a couple of friends right now who are dealing with estrangement from a child. I really, honestly, deeply grieve with them and for them. Two of my three are far away geographically but emotionally, close to my heart. I don't have to worry about where they are or what they're doing. I may not see them as often as I would like but I can be proud of them. I know the pain, though, of having your child walk out of your life. It cuts like a knife. It also is a deep wound when you're estranged from family. It's hard.

I wish the five of us kids and the dozen or so grandchildren were closer. I also wish I was closer with my eight aunts and eight uncles... and the dozens of cousins I have. Facebook helps. It's brought us closer. It's given us a way to keep up with each other without having to pick up the phone (which I hate) or send a letter (which I don't seem to find time for lately).

At any rate... I'm hopeful that we will be able to have Tiffany and her husband and Ethan James with us for Thanksgiving... if it doesn't work out, at least there are good intentions on both sides.

In the meantime... I have two incredible little red heads who are only a few minutes away and I can watch them grow up.

Happy Sunday, y'all!


mawmaw said...

Jenny and Carl come back next week, then Carl has to go back two weeks later.

Jess Miller said...

Funny you should post something about family and estranged family. Since losing my mom last year I feel sort of lost. My brother and I haven't been super close, but we are working on it and my sister in law's family has folded us into theirs. It's hard because all my family is and aunts down south, another aunt and cousin with family in Colorado...I really hate being so spread out.. family is important to me....I miss having someone close (other than my daughter of course). Hugs to you my dear Heather!