When you think of family or you hear the word family, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Family looks different for everyone; some are close and some are distant; some families are big and some are small. However your family falls into these equations, the one thing, no matter what, family is important.
By definition family means: all the descendants of a common ancestor. OR family can mean: the people that help us get through the most disastrous and difficult of times and the best of times. Family is important because they can offer support and security with unconditional love; they will always look to see the best in you.
It's no secret that I, myself, have lost a lot of family and honestly in a very short amount of time if we really think about it. I've had to bury my son and my husband; I've had to say goodbye to my brother. I've had to say goodbye to my sister-n-law and my father-in-law from my first marriage. I definitely have lost a lot more family then just listed, but man...these 5 right here were all the center of my family and they have left a huge hole in my life. My mother-in-law, Suzanne has lost her entire family, both her kids and her husband. She has her granddaughter (my daughter) Graci left, that's it. She has a few cousins here and there but, that's it.
In the past 2 months I have lost a cousin from my first marriage, my father-in-law, and just last Friday my sweet Auntie Carol died. We weren't expecting her to die, she had an aneurysm that couldn't be fixed. My aunt would have been 80 years old this year and she gave me 3 cousins. Two of my cousins live in different states and are a little older then me, but have lived away for a long time so we aren't super close. Thank goodness for Facebook where it truly has helped reunite families and kept them together and closer and easier to follow the growth & the heartache.
We traveled to Kearney which is about 2.5 hours from where I live this week to attend my aunts funeral and rosary. My aunt was the best at keeping us all informed on so much. She loved puzzles during the winter and gardening during the summers. She loved camping and she loved the Husker's. My sister commented how if she was out and about and not keeping up on the husker's playing, she would just go to aunt Carol's FB page because she was always updating us on the scores. Aunt Carol was always the first one to wish us happy birthdays and she was always giving us praises and compliments on all our accomplishments. We will miss so much about her and her love for her family.
There were 10 children in my mom's family, my aunt carol being one of them; today there are only 4 of them left. The age range is crazy...my grandma (or bonka as we called her) was a saint! Out of the 10 children they produced 34 kids total. So I have 33 cousins just on my mom's side. That's banana's!!! BUT, it doesn't matter if you are close in age or if you are far apart or if you don't speak or see each other often; seeing 11 of my cousins at the funeral this week was wonderful. We had a few laughs, we shed tears, but we were together and we loved, we showed up for each other, and we were present for the ones who needed it most this week.
So, as you close out your week or whenever you read this blog, just remember that family is truly important. I always felt a little sad for my daughter Graci, as we didn't have a big immediate family especially after Garret & her daddy died. We were blessed by the best when I married my husband Chantz. We gained a huge family that has been our rocks for many years now and they have given Graci the family she always wanted with cousins all about the same age range as she is.
I love my family, I love my parents, I love my sister and her family, my brother and his wife, and I love my brother (who died) Seth's wife and her new family. So you can see here, that families come in all different shapes and sizes; they come and they go; they grow and they die. We gain so much when we are present in our families lives, it's called Love and it truly makes our hearts grow a little bigger each time we get together.
I challenge you today...call or text a family member and just say Hi. Maybe that distant cousin on FB...message them on messenger and tell them you were thinking of them and hope all is well. You will change the trajectory of their day by doing this.
As always...WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER!