Last week in my blessings count, I counted family on that list. And today I was again blown away, not that I forget people necessarily, but that with all they do, they are not first in my mind. I have married into a wonderful, varied family of individuals who have all accepted me.
My father in law (Doug), whom I have mentioned before, is nothing less than my guardian angel. He has prayed for me many times, never afraid to show me just how much he loves me.
My mother in law (my husbands stepmom, Sandra), is an angel in waiting. She rarely has anything bad to say about anyone. In a day and age where everything is a complaint and loyalty a rarity, she certainly broke the mold.
Her mom (Alice), whom I feel very blessed to have gotten to call Grandma was one of the most amazing people I have ever met. She grew up in a time when nothing was easy. And she never let it stop her. I wish she were still alive today so she could tell me more hair raising adventures she took on in her life. She was definitely an example that the only thing limiting your accomplishments is you.
Alice's husband Bill, is a testimony to undying love. Alice passed away of cancer 3 years ago, and he still tells me that he misses her every single day. They were married for almost 70 years, and they say they never fought. They disagreed I'm sure, but they assure everyone that you can laugh at any situation, and as long as you truly love someone, you can make it work. Bill is GGpa to my kids. He didn't have to take on more family, and at 94, he sure doesn't have to make the effort. But he loves my family as his own. We go to visit him each week, and I love that we can still put a smile on his face. He takes my son on rides on his electric wheelchair, and its hard to tell whose smile is wider!
Their other son, Jim, and his wife Betty, are another testament to love without judgement. They willingly accept anyone into their home and make them feel wanted, not just welcome. It was funny last Thanksgiving, we heard that Betty had made homemade pumpkin pie, and lemon meringue pie, so we asked that some be sent home for us. When she heard, she promptly phoned us and told us to come for dinner and get our own pie. So we did! And I am glad we did. They made room for our little family of four, and we had a great time. And another memory to look back on for those days when nothing seems to be going right.
I know that this has been a hard week of tragedy, and all of those affected are in my prayers. But I also think that in times like these, we should include all of those we love in those prayers too. I never want to take those that love and support me for granted.
Heavenly Father, I pray for all of those affected by this weeks tragedies. Please help them to feel your strength in the upcoming hours, days and months as they all find their way through this. Please help us to support them in any way that we are able to. And God, I also pray for all of the loved ones still with us, that we never take them for granted, and that we be a loving example to those that need it. Amen.