Tuesday, October 8, 2013

We may not have it all together....

Most go through life with maybe a brother or a sister, maybe a couple, some few, some none.  However, I am blessed beyond measure.  It truly wasn't until I had a conversation with my SIL that I realized how really, really blessed I am and how from outside looking in, our family is really awesome. 

Yes, I was raised with two brothers.  However, I really have 6 sisters and 7 brothers, most would just refer to the extras as cousins.  My dad comes from a large Catholic farm family.  He was the baby of 7, who in turn blessed my grandparents with 14 grandchildren.  Of course the age spectrum is wide, as one would expect, but I was truly blessed to call some of these my best friends.

Cousins 2013 (Missing Russ & Shane)
My branch of the tree was different in that we didn't grow up near Grandma & Grandpa's.  We moved to Lincoln when I was 5, while the rest of my cousins stayed near "home".  However, that didn't change much for us "city" kids.  I think three out of four weekends a month, we spent back home visiting the grandparents and our friends, aka cousins.  Every summer, for two weeks my oldest brother and I spent time up north with them.  My godparents, I always believed, earned a saint award as they were crazy enough to host us 'younger' cousins all in one weekend.  Seven of us were had those weekends and while I am pretty sure us girls were the saint of the bunch, the boys sure tested the rules.  I cannot count the injuries, the times we played with fire and all the bad things that were had...but, I will never forget those times, the memories.

This seems like a bad idea...
There was family vacations together...who could forget Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun?  There has been plenty of weddings since those early days.  We have been attendants, candle lighters, hall decorators, and just there for each other.  They truly are some of the best friends a person can have and the best part is that they REALLY get how crazy this family is, with all our faults.

But the best part is that the cycle has not broke once the weddings have been had and new branches have been started.  The cousins still see each other, the children are friends with each other and the cycle continues.   Maybe one day Aunt Jenn can have some of those little minions visit Texas.  I'm sure they would have fun stories with that trip.

Some days it is these exact people that make living in Texas so hard.  In reality, it is being so far from family that is the only negative of living in Texas.  Of course, some days it is a blessing in disguise.  However, today is one of those hard days as we say goodbye to Aunt Mary.  Her life was cut way too short and was called home on Thursday.  After talks with my parents, since I was just with everyone and saw her just a few short weeks ago, they didn't feel I needed to come back.  It has not been an easy decision as I am sure there are plenty of laughs going around right now as everyone remembers the stories to be had and I am missing out.  However, I know I am there in spirit and have said my extra rosary's for Mary. 

What is the saying...We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.  I am truly blessed.