Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Lately I have had an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the wonderful people that make up my family. Between Halo matches on Xbox live with as many siblings as possible, and an unexpected visit from my parents just so they could bring us a valentine… From advice from a loving father on how to finish our basement, to loving words of encouragement from a mother who always wishes she could do more for her children… From texting back and forth due to a newly-strengthened relationship with a kind, loving and generous sister, to long talks on the phone due to a long-found connection of a sister far away. I have been blessed with more love and more examples in my life than any one person should be awarded. But I am so grateful for it.

I remember the summer when it all began; when I first started to realize that our family was special. My mom was going away because Jill was very sick. She needed a heart transplant and the hospital that would provide that for her was located in California. So we would all make the best of it. I would, at first, stay behind with Dad. I was still in school at the time and needed to finish out the year. Maybe after the school year ended I could go visit them for summer-break.

It was really hard at first. Everything that a ‘soon-to-be’ teenage girl would go to her mother for, was now handed off to an older sister. Jodi was then put in the awkward situation of giving ‘motherly’ advice to an eleven-year old sister. But we managed.

When the school year ended, I was allowed the opportunity to go stay with mom and Jill. For me, it was a blast. We went swimming every day in one of the several pools located in our apartment complex. We met new friends and enjoyed the excitement of spending a summer in California. It wasn’t until Jill was called in to the hospital because a heart had been located, that I realized the significance of the situation. From that moment, our family seemed to strengthen. From constant trips to the doctor’s office, to facing the challenging possibility of having a split family again for a second transplant, there wasn’t anything that I felt was too much for our family.

It has been a long time since that summer when I was eleven. Yet, here we still are… as strong as ever and growing closer to each other all the time. I sometimes wonder how my parents did it. How did they place so much value on family for their children to realize? How did they make sure that we would each grow up knowing that we are loved and that they are there for each of us individually if we ever needed them?

All I can say is that I hope, as a parent, that Danny and I can show the same kind of example to our children that I was shown as a daughter. And in return, I hope that I can reciprocate with the same kind of love to the people that mean the most in my life.


Tresa said...

Very Sweet! Could you send me that picture, I don't think I have all of the ones we took that day. We love you!