I had a blended family even before the Brady Bunch made it a good thing to be. I, of course, am the precious baby of which I am sure you had no doubt! Next up is my sister Patti(we share the same father and mother), then comes Barbara. Barbara is the oldest child of my mother and lived with us. My father's oldest child is Jo Anne. Jo Anne did not live with us but did visit. Up until last summer we had not seen Jo Anne for 40 years. The reasons are only important to us but as things happened my older sister Barb met Jo Anne at a paternal family funeral. We had a sisters weekend a few months later and now our circle is complete. I have three sisters. I am blessed. We are are so very different in the way we handle our personal lives, our personalities and the way we react to each other. We have three Republicans and one Democrat and all very passionate about our beliefs. We are Christian and have our faith to draw on in times of stress and trouble. I am in awe of my older sisters.
Patti works with the Red Cross and her position involves her finding money for their area and she is very, very successful. She is smart, loves her family, is logical and good to talk to when I feel most illogical. She and I fought the most growing up, but age and changing situations have a way of smoothing the edges to both of our personalities. Patti visits when she can and it is a joy to have her here. We just get to be ourselves and we have been able to provide strenth to each other when needed. When I was small she kept me safe. There is no price that I can put on that gift. I love you.
Barbara pretty much raised me till I was 4 years old because my mother was unable to do so. Our mom, who I still say was the best mom ever, went through a dark period and was unable to provide much care to an infant and later an active toddler. Even though I don't remember Barbara nurturing me, I know through stories that she fed me, changed me, and entertained me. She was a child doing a grown up job and she loved me. She loves me still. She lives a faith based life and she prays for all of us. Barbara listens to each of us and has the infinite capacity to love. She is wise in so many ways. I love you.
I have a picture of Jo Anne when she was a teenager and I felt she was a dead ringer for Liz Taylor during the time ol' Liz did the National Velvet movie. Jo Anne has lost two of her three children to untimely deaths. This would have dropped me to my knees if it had happened to me but Jo Anne remembers good times with her children and knows without a doubt that she will see Holly and Jimmy in heaven. She is really at peace. When we reconnected it was a tearful, happy time. There was some anger at least at the lies and secrets that kept us apart. Jo Anne is now so much a part of our lives that it makes me sad to think that we let years go without contact on our part. Jo Anne's heart is huge and her capacity to forgive can only be God given. I love you.
I am so grateful that God gave me my family. There is nothing quite like my sisters. When I am down, they are there to provide encouragement. We are united like only sisters can be and I pity those who don't have that kind of relationship with a sibling. Our family could have been torn apart by many things that happened in the past but somehow God blessed us and changed the darkness into light, the lies into truth and gifted each of us with the capacity to love and accept love. Our circle is complete. I so love each of you.
I have one final comment to make that only my sisters will understand. Mike and George you lost, big time.