This post is a part of my 10-Minutes Tuesday collection, written today on the prompt “family.”
We found out I was pregnant after 4 years of infertility treatment right around if not on Father’s Day itself. How ironic and sweet is that?
15 weeks later, after we thought we were safe and had told our friends, we discovered that our baby had not made it past about 6 weeks. I didn’t have any sign of miscarriage until that day.
Not knowing whether we would ever be able to grow our biological family was crushing to us. But now, as I sit here and write this, I gaze upon the pictures and portraits of our 3 kids that grace the walls, shelves and pretty much every horizontal surface of our home.
Now almost 22, 19 and 16, my kids are my treasure. The thought of them ever moving far away from me where I won’t see them frequently squeezes my heart, and even more so now that I also have a grandson that I care for 5 days a week. But I know I’m one of the lucky ones.
I myself moved across the country from my own family of origin. My parents have passed away and my sisters live in Colorado and Washington State, and my brother is still in California where we grew up. I don’t see them nearly often enough.
Family is a complicated, hard, beautiful thing. We can either thrive or flounder in our relationships with those we should hold most dear. Just a few years ago, my husband’s sister and her family moved from Texas to Florida, to a house right across the street from us. Just this week, that sister and her husband signed divorce papers after more than 30 years of marriage.
She doesn’t live across the street from us anymore, but her husband, 15-year-old son, and 27-year-old son who is about to get married, do. We value these last 3 years with them so close by. It means the world to me to be able to see them and know them and be there for them, especially during this hard time. My father-in-law is far away. But my mother-in-law lives with us. See what I mean? Complicated.
Many people complain about Facebook, but I’m thankful for it because of the connection it has given me to my faraway family. I can see pictures of my great nephew and great niece that I’ve never met, and know that my oldest sister is loving being Mimi to her new granddaughter. I long for my grandson and her granddaughter to meet. They would be super good friends. They are 2 months apart.
But for now, we treasure our family both far and near. Keep up as well as possible, and build an extended frie-maly here. You know, friends who are like family. They mean the world to us too!
With the holidays right around the corner, I know many people will be facing family situations that will be uncomfortable, hard, ugly even. I pray that you can find peace and maybe even that some relationships can be repaired.