I just wanted to share a post about what family means to me.
Sadly, I lost my own mother back in 1997. It was a sad time for me, as well as my six brothers and sisters. Even more sad because we had just lost my sister, father, and sister-in-law. It was hard for me to cope without my mother. She wasn't just my mother. She was my friend. She was my counselor. She was my very own cheering squad. And she was a force to be reckoned with. Everyone loved my mother. She was sweet, kind, caring, loving, and would help you in any way that she could. She was a whiz in the kitchen. And could make a meal out of almost anything. She was famous for her potato salad! And even though I was (and still am) a potato eating fiend, and want them any way that I can get them: fried, baked, mashed, smashed, whipped, smothered, boiled, broiled, or grilled; but please, please, please, don't put mayonnaise in them! LOL. She taught us to love the Lord. We were sent to Sunday school (which by the way I enjoyed). She would say "Pray on it, and I'll pray for you too" whenever there was a problem that you couldn't seem to solve yourself. She taught her daughters how to cook, clean, crochet, knit (even though she preferred crocheting), and how to use a needle and thread. She loved dressing up, and loved to see her children dressed up too.
my mother and grandmother
We children didn't really realize how hard it was for my mother until we had gotten older; I'd say in our very early teen years. But when we did realize how hard things were, I like to think that we helped make her life more easier. I know that she loved us all with every ounce of her being. And did as much as possible so that we would be and feel as normal as any other child. When she passed, I think that we all felt a little lost. At least I did. And since I was the youngest, I think that my older brothers and sisters felt that they had to keep an eye on me. They seemed to "hover" over me quite a bit. Even though I was an adult with a husband and children of my own. It was a little smothering for awhile, because at that time I just wanted to be left alone. That's me, leave me alone until I can cope. Eventually I'll bounce back and be "fine."
A few months after she passed away, we all came to the same conclusion: that we still had each other. That she would want us to become even closer. That we would learn to help each other. And rely on each other. And just be there for each other no matter what.
I still miss her every day. Yes, that's what I said every day. Not a day goes by without thoughts of my mother popping into my head. It could be something as simple as a smell that would evoke memories of my mother.
A friend once told me, after I'd mentioned that I was sick of people asking me "how are you doing?" to tell them "my mother died, I'll never be fine." That one single piece of advice eased my burden. And I remember my mother with nothing but good memories. Ok, sometimes a bad one creeps in, but then I remember that it taught me something. It was an experience. And I still know that whatever that lesson was, it was just that; a lesson. I tell people all the time; "My momma taught me well." And I like to say that I am what I am because of my mother.
Anyway, I love being around my family. My brothers and sisters and their families. Especially the times that we all just happen to end up somewhere together. Most times, it's at my oldest sister's house. We all would just drop by. And of course someone would say that they were hungry and that would end up being the start of a small family reunion. Always fun. We could reminisce about the same stuff over and over again, no matter how many times we are together; and it still is funny each and every time.
I'd like to think that we'll have very long lives together. Continuing my mother's and father's legacy. Being a family that truly loves one another. And hoping and praying that we're all making them proud.
Now, again sadly, I've lost my "second"mother. My mother-in-law. She was also a kind, caring, sweet, gentle, soft-spoken woman. One that you could count on. And again, she was a woman that believed in teaching her children to love the Lord. Her children, my in-laws are God fearing people. And like my family, there are many pastors, deacons, and evangelists. Prayer warriors.
Her Homegoing was this weekend. It was truly a celebration of her life. It was such a beautiful, joyful service. With memories shared. Laughter. Singing.
My husband's family is HUGE. His mother and father had 12 daughters and four sons! So, can you imagine how many grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren there are? Well, let me tell you...there are 37 grandchildren, 47 great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren!
And although we don't see other as often as we should; we've spent a lot of time together this weekend. It was so nice to catch up on each other's lives and be together. She would have loved to have been there, with all of us together just enjoying each other's company.
We're hoping that we can get both of our families together this summer. Take over some place where we can have fun.
Being with family is the sweetest thing.
Our moms would have loved that.