Being a part of a family is one of the most important things God gives to us. Family might not be by blood, but being a part of a circle is essential to our well being. I got very upset talking about this yesterday so I'll try to intertwine it all together for basic understanding. I am the only child, the only grandchild and the only niece. My family growing up was the immediate family of my mother and my dad then Grandmommy as her husband had passed away, Granny Jac as she divorced my grandfather, then Grandaddy and his wife, Rae and my Uncle Mike. I am very close to my Dad's extended family and call them cousins. My grandfather's great nieces and nephews are my brothers and sisters. When Mom passed away my family was thrown into a hurricane and we were off balance. Dad then married Brenda and I gained a sister, a brother and down the road a sister in law, three nieces and two nephews. Sometimes I feel as if I try too hard to make it all work. Sometimes I want us to be as close as blood so I try and try. I am close to my stepbrother and his wife and I love their entire family. I don't know about my stepsister as she just won't believe me when I say I want in her heart. Enter Nick's family who I try to make my own as well. His mother treats me as a daughter. They invite me into their lives as I am one of them. Last night his brother did not invite me to a family dinner and I burst into tears. At first I didn't understand and Nick wondered if it is because it is the week Mom passed and I am more tender. I explained how I just want to be a part of a big family and I just want everyone to be together as one. It seems like a small thing, but it just showed me that it's just like when the cousins have a family Christmas and as much as they say I am included I am not in their white elephant drawings. Stephanie can call me Aunt Julie, but I'm not really Trooper's aunt. It gets exhausting trying so hard at times to be all of these things. In my immediate family that I was given upon birth I do have my Dad, Grandmommy and Uncle Mike. I thank God for that every single day. My Dad and Brenda are so special to me and they keep our family close and we all try to visit and be as one. So to me family is as essential the blood pumping through our veins... It is essential to our happiness whether it be as I said, by blood... or by marriage... or by those that surround us.
That blood pumping through my veins got together this weekend and it was a lot of fun.
Brenda and Dad drove in from Midland and Steven and his family drove in from Oklahoma. Friday night Nick's mother cooked for all of us and I was excited for them to meet Steven's family. Rylie didn't talk for a few hours, but she did have fun with the dogs. She was a little shy at first. We stayed there and all talked for a while then went back to the hotel room. Saige is now ten months old and she is just adorable... always smiling and laughing. Saturday I took them to the Galleria because Ashley loves Old Navy. We bought Rylie a bunch of clothes from The Children's Place and Old Navy for preschool next year. I don't know how many times she said this weekend, "Mama, I wanna go to school!" Then we all met Nick at Saltgrass. I ate entirely too much, but it sure was yummy. Nick left us to dogsit so I enjoyed the time with my family. We all just hung at the hotel watching the Olympics and hanging out. Rylie and Saige entertained me the whole night! We were trying to teach Saige to crawl... very entertaining! Dad had gotten a brand new truck so he was proud to show it off. It is beautiful and includes all of the highest technology! Love it. I was very sad to see them leave Sunday morning. We always have such a nice time all just chilling out and enjoying one another's company.
You see... it doesn't always have to be about blood. Sometimes I push so hard to be a part of each family. In that room I think I've said before in a writing I knew "this was my future." As in... what we are born with might not always be our family. My mother, my dad, me... gosh, that was glorious, but it wasn't God's plan for us. We got another chance. Thank Him for both.