What a good-looking bunch! I'd try to label this picture, but I'm not sure I could keep track of everyone. However, if you can name everyone in this picture, then you know you're part of my family, especially if you aren't in the picture.
I've talked to my cousin Dorothy no fewer than 10 times tonight, because she's keeping vigil with my Grandma Joyce, and I'm trying to be there with her and with my Grandma on the phone since I'm 1000 miles away. I got to talk to my Dad's cousin on the phone tonight for a few moments and realized that even though I've never called him and even though I've spoken to him exactly three times in the past 20 years, we still have a love and a bond that being a family creates. This week I heard from a cousin that I've only ever met once, and again, there was a bond between us because we're family.
And here's what I know for sure right now:
That families are forever. That in spite of spats, politics, quarrels, burnt dinners, and the messiness of life, my family will be there for me to love me, to laugh with me, to hold me up, to support me, and to help me. I know that we will all be there for each other whenever and however we need it. And heaven help you if you're adopted, related or married into this crew because we're going to be there for you too.
Dorothy and I were talking about why our family is so fiercely loving and what makes some of us come around more often than others. I'm not sure I know, though I'm pretty sure I used to think I knew. But the best part of my family is this: We're here for you, even when you're not here. We're ready to love you with big open arms and bossy mouths and lots of love whenever you do come around. And we're going to keep on doing this forever, because we don't just like you all- we love you all.
So I'm sending you all love tonight, family. I'm sending you each angels to surround you and keep your hearts and souls safe. I'm sending you all the blessing that you will each get exactly what you need right now.