Family means no one is left behind-or forgotten.
This is my family. My three beautiful kids and my very handsome husband. Very regal looking, wouldn't you say? This is from Jaime's 13th birthday last year. We took the family to Medieval Times.
Growing up, my childhood was somewhat difficult. I didn't have friends. Not really. I had a stuffed clown named "Mr. Noname" (he got that name b/c when asked his name I kept saying "no name, yet". I didn't have friends to hang out with, go to the mall with, anything. In my junior year I met Joyce and we've been friends ever since. Even though she lives tons of miles away in North Carolina, we've been through everything together although we only talk a couple times a year.
So, imagine my surprise when I moved to Texas, little did I know how much my family would grow. Through a retreat at church I met my very best friend, Carol. You've heard me talk about her many times. This is me and Carol. Carol and I are family. There's no two ways about it. She is my sister in every sense of the word. She's my big sister. She listens to me whine ad nausea, she gives me advice, she consoles me, she picks on me, she makes me laugh. She loves me. And, I love her. She is Aunt to my children and I to hers.
Today was a very special day. It was my nephews First Communion. And, I was blessed to be a Eucharistic Minister and get a close up view as they received Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time! And, with great pride, I said to the woman next to me, "those are my nephews!" Here they are, albeit not in there outfits from today...Don't they look adorable!?!?! The one on the left is Brennan and the one on the right is Justin. Yes, they're twins. When they were four, they looked so much alike, it took me six months to be able to tell them apart.
While I was blessed to be there for their big day, I was also there for another part of my family. The Kay's. Today was not only Olivia's First Communion, but also baby Leo's Baptism! Unfortunately, fatigue won out and we missed Leo's Baptism, but made it to his and Olivia's celebration afterward.
I can't help it, this is the most recent picture of my Olivia that I've got. She won the poster contest for the City of Allen Recycling and got to walk in the Allen Christmas Parade! Isn't she adorable!?!?!
And, this handsome little one is baby Leo! At the Kay's this evening, George had to leave early to go to work. He needed the car and asked Jeff if he wouldn't mind giving the kids and I a ride home. Jeff's response? "Of course. Dude, you're family, don't worry about it!" This meant the world to me. Jeff and I became friends when he called one day last summer looking for George and I recruited him to help me plan George's surprise 40th birthday party to be held 4 months before his actual birthday bwa ha ha! And, through the planning I gradually got to know his wife, Kim (that's Kim K, the nurse you've heard me talk about ad nausea as well!). When Mom got sick and was dying, Kim was a Godsend. She still is. Here we all are at the Winterlude this year. Don't we all look so swanky!?! Note, this is pre Leo as he is still in the oven cooking. These people, these few, are many to me. Coming from a place where friends are scarce and unconditional love is just a fantasy, they mean the world to me. They are my family. They love me warts and all. And, believe me, have I got warts! They'll even be happy to point them out for you :)
Tomorrow is Mother's Day. It is the first one without Mom. Here is a picture of her and Dad. It is hard not to think about her and focus on my children as that's exactly what she would want me to do. But alas, it is hard. I miss my Mom. As pig from the movie Babe says "I want my Mom!" But, you know what? She is not nor wills she ever be forgotten. As bad as I miss her and as much as times without her are hard, I am blessed. I have a wonderful family. They are a great support system and I couldn't be who I am without them. They are my Ohana. And without them I would definitely be left behind.
Wishing all of you a blessed Mother's Day. May many blessings come your way. Until we meet again.