Me (Linda), Debbie, Carla and Gary
This is not one of the “best” photos that we took but it is the one I loved the most. Because this is what my life is about….Laughter….the only thing I love more is laughing with my family.
I grew up in Texas but at the age of 20 (actually on my 21st birthday) my husband and I moved North to Wisconsin where he grew up. I say that I only cried for 6 years and now I’m okay. I’m the baby out of 10 kids. My mom always said we were like the Lucy movie “yours, mine and ours”. I have one full brother Neil. He is 2 years older than me and even though we don’t see each other much I always feel like that we have a unique bond. We are truly brother and sister. We grew up in the same home at the same time and share the same memories and life experiences. That’s one of those things that you can’t put a pricetag on. I have brothers and sisters that I see occassionally or maybe years between visits. But I always say that what I love about our family is that even if that is the case we can see each other, hug and get right into catching up. Life is so busy for everybody and relationships are alot of work. I know they all love me and I pray that they all know that I love them as well.
I have 2 sisters that I am the closest to. My one sister Debbie let me live with her during my senior year when my parents moved out of state and that created a true bond that has connected us for life. And then my sister Carla is the sister that has been there for the births of both my children and so many other moments I can’t begin to count. Debbie and Carla have taught me so much about life. I have watched them parent their children and be Godly women but they have also taught me how to treasure a relationship. They have taught me first hand why the Bible says that it is better to give than recieve. It is in the process of “doing” that relationships are created. So through the years I have went to Texas to help with weddings and graduations and holding hands during cancer and they have been here for births and graduations and birthday parties. That is the way our relationship works. That’s the way any healthy relationship should work. Sometimes I feel almost guilty for our relationship. Sad that others don’t have what we have. But I also think that as with any relationship you get out of it what you are willing to put into it. I have learned over the years that I can give of myself and I enjoy that, I love to see others happy. But when it comes to where my heart goes – it goes to someone who wants the same for me. Someone who wants the best for me, someone who shares themselves with me and allows me the same, someone who is willing to invest their time and energy into me as much as I do into them. That is a relationship. I have had to let go of the feeling that it may seem selfish to say those words. That is the reality of how I can live a productive joy filled life.
This last weekend was a treat for me. Since we live so far apart alot of our relationship happens on Facebook. I am notorious for posting alot. But we love it because it is like being neighbors. We know the everyday things in each others lives. We are always being silly and saying “so, do you want to do lunch today?” because it feels like we should be able to. A few weeks ago I said that and that started our minds turning….which usually means trouble. So, the result was a weekend in Kansas City (which we thought was half way but not quite – it was a much better deal for me). While we started planning our little adventure my older brother Gary got wind of our sister’s getaway and asked if he could Crash it. So we laughed that it was a Girl’s getaway (and Gary). It ended up being me and my daughter Becca driving from Wisconsin. Then Debbie and Carla with her Daughter Amy and her 2 girls McKenna and Lexie driving from Texas and then Gary and his wife Mona from Arkansas. We had such a fun time together. Lots of stories and the hugs that I had been needing. A blessed weekend for sure.
I am grateful….actually beyond grateful for my life. I love to love on people….. but it feels so wonderful that because of the love that I give someone would drive 12 hours to spend basically one day with me. It is acts of kindness like that that make you want to offer more when people treat you like that. If only the world could figure that out….it would be a much happier place.
Have a beautiful day!!!