Family...That word alone can bring feelings of joy,safety,support and the warmth of love, or the chill of fear and darkness, loneliness and dread.
When I think of my family my heart nearly explodes with all the emotions and memories that instantly flood my mind. I am "most blessed" as a daughter, wife, Mom, Mother in love,and Grandma. This week as we have had all five of our children,their spouses and their children (that would be 16 grandchildren:)and cousins with us we have seen and shared the results of 46 years of creating 'our family'.
I was born the 'tag along' child into a family of 8 children to parents who had gone through the depression and knew what hard times and love was all about. Most of my life we lived in the country where Daddy farmed 'on the side' after putting in his hours at a job of manual labor. Momma was a 'stay at home Mom' cause that is what Mom's did. She canned our food, baked our bread,washed our clothes(wringer washer and line dried :)was doctor,nurse,and counselor. Discipline included a switch if deemed needed,but was always fair and consistent. All discipline was balanced by hugs and the assurance from the parent that 'this hurts me more than it does you'. I found that hard to believe as a child but as a Mom I'm pretty convinced it was true.
Our day ended with a Bible story and prayer as we snuggled beneath our 'stitched with love' quilts. We were never of aware of the day to day struggles with finances and everyday living that our parents dealt with because those were the burdens for adults.
Our home had the 'OPEN DOOR POLICY'so was the gathering spot for friends and family alike. Laughter and good food was always on the menu.
With that lifestyle as my model I set my goals high as I thought about what MY family would look like. I have found through the years that I have endeavored to glean nuggets of wisdom from my parents,incorporate them in my home, and pray that I would find some gold of my own to add to the mix!
Although we are not a perfect family, you will find FUN,LAUGHTER,LOVE and general chaos always is a part of who we are.
My diagnosis of breast cancer 6 years ago brought all the kids home, without any planning, their love and laughter and stories of past adventures was the best medicine any Momma could have.
The birth or adoption of a new child brings out the party in all of us!!
The news of someone coming home is an opportunity for a family dinner and maybe the spark needed for another sibling to load up and join us.:)
It has taken 5 years for all the gang to be in one spot at the same time but what a time we've had!
Jim and I found ourselves in Washington just 18 days ago to welcome our newest grandson as our youngest daughter adopted her 4th child. We stayed to see she and her husband 'swear to care for and cherish' this little bundle and then headed home to prepare for the arrival of our gang and the wedding of our oldest grandson.
Within a two week time we have celebrated a birth, marriage, baby shower, book signing No Maybe Baby by Marcy Hanson,the graduations of 2 grandsons and the wonder of being together!!!
Although the need for each family to get back to their homes and schedules has begun the memories and adventures will continue to bring smiles and chuckles for days,weeks and years to come.
Prayers for safe travels and anticipation of visits to come will be on my agenda for several days to come.