Thursday, March 3, 2011
Kelly's Korner SUYL: Your Family
This week's post over at Kelly's Korner SUYL segment is about the family you grew up in. I thought this would be a fun post for Micah to read one day about his mom's family. I decided I'd join in on the fun.
My family is very, very small. My mom (KayKay) is an only child married to another only child--Micah's PawPaw. How crazy is that? So technically I have no aunts, uncles, or cousins. Technically. However, my mom's mother passed away when she was very little and her dad was very sick. After her mom's death, my mother moved to Tennessee from Georgia to live with my great aunt. Confused yet? My great aunt and great uncle raised my Mama and took care of her daddy (my grandfather). They had two children who are my "uncles" and my great aunt and uncle were my "Granny" and "Granddaddy" growing up. Their kids (my uncles) were my third cousins, but we just referred to them as my cousins. So...my mom's brothers are really her cousins. :) My dad was also an only child of his father's second marriage. My grandfather was married previously and had six kids. He later married my grandmother, and then my dad was born. Technically I have six half aunts and half uncles out there, but I didn't ever really know them. They were a whole lot older than my dad.
Most of our holidays were spent with our little family--my daddy, mama, my younger sister Keren, my younger brother Dale, and my Granny D (my father's mother) until she died when I was sixteen. My family is quite unique in the fact that my younger brother is severely handicapped. He is mentally disabled as well as physically disabled. I spent a great deal of my childhood in hospital rooms and doctors' offices watching my brother beat the odds over and over again. He's had around 15 surgeries on his stomach, eyes, knees, feet, and ears. I would say that Dale is the center of our world (in a great way--not as in my parents didn't give my sister and I attention way!), and I'm completely grateful for that because he has taught me how to have faith in God. I've literally almost watched my brother die more times than I care to count including this January, January of 2010, and the week of my wedding in July 2004. EACH TIME the Lord is faithful. Dale fights the battle, and he comes back from the brink of death. (I mean brink of death, too. This is random, but a character on Grey's Anatomy actually had a surgery that my brother had with the exact same condition. That character died on the episode, and I knew all the medical terminology from hearing it last year in the hospital!) The only way this happens over and over is due to God's master plan. That and an extremely stubborn, strong willed brother! You can't help but have a strong trust in the Lord when you watch a loved one be seriously sick over the course of your childhood and into your adult life. It just makes you who you are.
My sister is a wonderful person, and I'm so proud of her. She's a hard working mother of a super cute little boy named Ebin. Keren is bubbly, and everyone around her loves her. She's beautiful inside and out. Growing up, she was a shoulder to lean on because she is the only one in the world who can relate to being Dale's sister. (Again, not a bad thing, but it can be emotional at times. Not gonna paint it as all rainbows and sunshine.) She's grown into the most mature "little" sis after she had Ebin. She wasn't immature, but watching her care for her son has been amazing.
My Mama is my rock. I talk to her almost every single day. She's the kind of person who only gives and never takes. I don't know how one can be so selfless, but she is the definition of it. I mean she raised Dale, and that says a lot! She loves the Lord, and she has a faith that I hope to one day come close to. Mama has had so many bad things happen to her (the death of her parents at a young age and my brother), but she keeps fighting. You never hear her complain, and she's always the one telling me to stop whining.
My Daddy is also precious to me because he is the definition of "never give up." He's a college professor, ordained Baptist minister, and theologian. When he married my mom he had never gone to college. In his thirties, he felt called to the ministry and went back to school. Now he writes books with beauty, and he's always challenging me spiritually and theologically. Daddy knows "his stuff" and can always lend an ear to a spiritual dilemma. Not only that, but if you have questions about almost any kind of religion or theological thought, he knows how to answer the question. He went to school for 20 years of my life while providing for our family and supporting my mom with Dale. We definitely have some perseverance in my background. I think that is why I am so stubborn.
So there ya go. That's my family that I grew up with. Also pictured are our husbands (my hubby Mr. C, my brother in law Jason, my nephew Ebin, and my son) this Christmas for our first family photos with Micah.