Thursday, July 14, 2016

family is everything

This past week has been filled with thoughts of gratitude and thanks for all that I've been blessed with. I can not say enough about how appreciative we are for the love and support that we have been blessed with.  On Sunday, in the midst of all of Quayd's excitement, there were other miracles taking place.  I wanted to share my thoughts about this in a separate post...

I have mentioned many times and joke often that Doug's family is pioneer stock and that my family is Woodstock.  This statement could not be any more true.  Our families are so different and we are from such completely different backgrounds and upbringings.  Doug's family is so laid back.  My family is intense.  In all things.  We are passionate and intense and excitable.  I realize that.  Through forty years of loving Doug, I've learned a bit of his patience and to when it's better to be quiet and to act, not react.  Thankfully!  That's brought much peace to a life that could have been all drama, if I hadn't learned these lessons.  For the most part, I think that I've got that part down.

On Sunday morning, while doing my hair, I had "a moment".  The reality of things hits me occasionally and, of all mornings, this was one.  Of course, I realize that Satan was behind these thoughts and wanting to put a damper on what would be one of the best days of our lives.  But, for a moment, I was blatantly reminded that every single event in my life... every birth, every baby blessing, every baptism, every graduation, every huge celebration (with the exception of Liza's wedding day and that was because she was so adamant and persistent that it happened), I have never had any of my family present.  Not even for my very own wedding day to Doug! I've NEVER had any of my family there!

So, here I am, doing my hair, getting ready for church and I am blatantly reminded that my mother is not even coming because, to quote Ruby, "What if my car breaks down and someone stops and rapes and murders me on the highway?"  Because why!?  The bottom line was that my mom made a choice not to come and she's missed out on a lot.  Her loss.  She chose to miss an incredible day.  She could have ridden up with Liza and Buddy.  Whatever. I don't have to like their choices but I do love them.  Period.  AND I immediately reminded myself that I have been so blessed with Doug's family and such amazing friends who are more like sisters to me than friends. It's all good.

ANYWAY... I'm getting ready and these thoughts start creeping in.  I gave it a few minutes and then decided that I'm not going to let this become an issue on this most special day.  I cowboyed up, put a smile on my face and gave thanks for this amazing family that I'm blessed with through Doug and the friends that are almost countless and moved forward through a magnificient day!

As we all gathered at our home afterward, I had another little reality "slap", as I refer to them.  Kelly was not invited.  She wasn't here because Jason was.  Earlier in the week, I'd mentioned to Quayd, that Jason's parents are not ready for him to meet Kelly and I wanted to make sure that Quayd realized that would mean one or the other would not be able to attend on Sunday.  I didn't get the question out before Quayd said, "Jason needs to be here!  I want Jason here!"  The end.  Quayd's choice.  I'd already told Kelly that if Jason were here, she couldn't be.  She seemed understanding enough. We stopped by her home the next night because she was just getting out of her car as we drove past.  We stayed less than ten minutes, but she did ask about the farewell and if Jason was there.  She was fine about it.

So.  Sunday.  We are gathered in our backyard.  And I looked and saw this.  Here is Jason, the fourth child that Kelly gave birth to.  And Mikelle, the eighth.  Before Sacrament Meeting, in the chapel, Wendy told Mikelle to go and tell Jason hello.  She walked up a few rows and said, "Hi, Jason."  He said hi back and she went back to her seat.  Jason's dad said, "Do you know who that is?"  He wasn't sure and they told him it was Mikelle, who he hasn't seen since she was a few months old.  They know about each other but hadn't realized they would both be there.  Dave said that Jason was just thrilled!

And from that moment on, Jason was with this "little sister" of his.  These two were inseparable!  They played and ate and pushed on the swing together.  They played with Aylabelle and each other and we all sat back and watched this little bit of magic happen.  It was precious.

 Jason is such a little gentleman.  He's very much like Quayd, in that way... he's always offering to help or looking for a chance to do something for someone. Quayd felt terrible that he couldn't just "chillax" with Jason, but he knew that he needed to be visiting with all of our guests!  Jason and Quayd are very connected!  Jason didn't seem to mind too much because he was able to keep himself occupied with his little sister and Aylabelle.

Both Jason and Miki's parents and Doug and I discussed it.  What a gift!  Kelly may have made some sad choices in her life.  But, she truly has blessed the lives of five families with eight beautiful children!  Zaylee wasn't there. That's still a pretty raw wound for Liza and Buddy.  Time will heal it, but for now, we just have to watch out for everyone's feelings.  But, what a miracle to witness, as this little boy and girl connected, and felt the love of family and the gift of knowing that they have two families that they belong to and are a part of!

So, while they were experiencing their own little miracle, I was experiencing mine.  A gift.  My family that came before me may not be here, but I am blessed with six beautiful children, who are but grown now.  That's happening too fast!  We are alsob lessed with two beautiful granddaughters, Aylabelle and Willow and three more grands, Jason, Zaylee and Mikelle, that we adore and love, even though these beautiful children may have different last names and other siblings, we are continually blessed with more family in our lives because of it!  And there are two other grands out there that I've never met, but I'm grateful that their mother sends me pictures and keeps me updated.  That, is yet, another gift!  Regardless of the moments when my "woodstock" family is confusing or even eye-brow raising to some, these beautiful children are all a part of us... we love each other and we are family!

Speaking of explaining it... we laugh and joke about it.  My three children, Quayd, Grace and ZJ are my son and daughters in every sense of the word.  It's what they want.  It's what we want.  It's what it is... legally and spiritually, in every way.  Jason, Zaylee and Miki are our grands.  In their eyes, my kids are their big siblings and that's perfectly wonderful because Quayd, Grace and Zee are three great kids for them to look up to.  It might seem twisted to some, but it works for us.  That's all that matters.

Last night, Doug, Quayd and I attended the temple together.  As we sat visiting together at the end of the evening, I shared with Quayd, that this was the exact place that his dad and I were sitting in the temple, when his dad had the inspiration that Kelly had been the "vehicle" to bring us the rest of our children.  Three weeks later, the babes were legally adopted and sealed to us in this very temple.  It was a tender moment to share with him.   Woodstock.  Pioneer stock.  None of that matters.  We have each other.  We love each other.  We are family...and...Family is everything!

Life is good! 


  1. Your family tree may be twisty and viney but it is beautiful. As the mother of two adopted daughters, in a semi-open adoption I admire the openness with which you share your family's story. My girls have 2 siblings and a third on the way. The relationship is almost non-existent now (birth families choice not ours, not that we argue with it), but those kids are out there and if/when the time comes to explain it all to our girls I will look at your story for inspiration and guidance.

  2. I have a friend whose brother, Lyle, married his wife's mother, Marie. So now Lyle is his brother AND his father-in-law and Marie is his mother-in-law AND his sister-in-law...they had a son. That son is my friend's nephew AND his brother-in-law. My friend says "Our family tree is a bush!" I've always thought that was a good analogy. And so your family tree is a big, broad, beautiful, colorful bush which has brought much happiness to many people!

    Kelly has made so many poor choices, and yet she has brought much happiness to many people, through those choices... Wow! I never really thought of it quite that way! Such an interesting perspective!

    I've followed you for so many years, back to the dMarie days, and so of course I've always been aware of it all--the BIGS and the BABES and now the GRANDS. No judging here. Families are made in many ways.

    I'm having trouble saying it exactly the way I mean. Please don't take offense as it's not meant that way at all... All the heartbreak and disappointment and worry and struggle, and through all of it, who would have thought that Kelly would be the one to bring blessings to so many???

  3. Sophia-- Your comments are soo beautiful and well said. I love your expressions of tenderness. You are family to me. I'm proud you are "my cousin-in-law""?? Whatever. More than that, you are an inspiration. Thank you! Love M

  4. Sophia-- Your comments are soo beautiful and well said. I love your expressions of tenderness. You are family to me. I'm proud you are "my cousin-in-law""?? Whatever. More than that, you are an inspiration. Thank you! Love M

  5. Lovely, thoughtful words, you are so blessed with so much family. Ruby's loss, so very sad that she is fearful and is missing all of these occasions .