Saturday, August 25, 2007

IS THERE ANYWHERE SWEETER THAN IN THE MIDDLE OF ONE'S FAMILY?

I received two cd’s of photos from my mother’s surprise WEEK AT LAKE MICHIGAN for her 80th birthday in the mail today. My sweet brother, Randy, and my amazing sister, Joan, both professional photographers, took the pictures on the cd‘s.

There were 24 of us, “her relatives”, there to surprise her when she arrived…..we had come from Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan to be with her for her big birthday.

When the two cd's arrived in the mail today I ripped open the package and immediately went to my laptop to watch them both...............
not twice.............
but three times.

Yes, I watched both cd's three times in a row and I know that I will watch them both many, many more times over the next several days, weeks, months, and years.

I adored that trip and remember that when we drove up to the condo that the first person I hugged was my Uncle Bob, and that I started crying..............I was so relieved to be in the middle of my family with my baby, Clayman, and Frankie, my precious husband.

The previous 12 months have been very hard on me physically and I needed to be embraced by my family.

Is there anywhere sweeter than in the middle of one's family?
I think not.


Every picture on the two cd's elicited an emotion from me.
Some made me close my eyes momentarily and whisper to myself, "mmhhhhhhh".
Some made me recall a forgotten moment.
Some made me simply smile.
Some made me roll my eyes.............
Some made me grimace................
Some made me love that person more...........
Some made me wonder who was taking the pictures......
Some made me giggle.
Some made me so happy that family was reconnecting.
……..that one was for you, cuz.
Some made me realize that we were missing someone....
Craig, Blake, Barret, Aunt Leslie, Uncle Jimmy, Uncle Emil, Tyler, Jessica, Aunt Mary Beth, Aunt Marilyn....

Several of the pictures made me laugh out loud,
The golfing pictures of Uncle Bob's tall grass shot............
The shot of Eileen in front of the condo with her knee posed...........
Tanner having to tell mom that he was Tanner............
Y'all playing games late at night..............
Clay making sure his shirt was pulled down over his bum as Carly had him on the ground making the "loser" sign and losing it.................

Several made me cry,
Uncle Bob's expression as he sat at the table, chin on hand, waiting for mom to find him............
mom's expression as she saw all of the "Hancocks".
mom hugging Melinda............
mom hugging Marti...............
mom hugging Rosemary.................
mom hugging Uncle Bob............
mom hugging Eileen................
mom hugging Clay..........
realizing that mom didn't hug me..............
mom and Aunt Judy looking at each other at arm's length............
Uncle Bob and Marti looking out over Lake Michigan........

I'm completely switching out the photographs that line our hallway and everyone of my extended family will be represented in the new line-up.

And every time I walk down that hallway I will be reminded of how deeply I love each and every one of them.

I will be reminded of how important family is.
I will be reminded that blood doesn't always make family.
And I will be reminded of how blessed I am to have all of them as my family.

I love them all.
Deeply.

6 comments:

kecia said...

that was so eloquent and beautiful. the pictures were quite touching. what a wonderful gift. you can see the happiness in your mother's eyes throught out the whole event. i can see the love your family has for one another. thanks for sharing. you did such a nice job of including us the viewer with your descriptions and thoughts!

Kathi said...

Wonderful post Jan...what a lovely family...
hey, just tagged ya for the name game, check out my blog!
Kathi

Eileen said...

I LOVE IT ☺ !! I will take any opportunity to relive that wonderful week!! Reading/looking made me FEEL like I was there again!! THANKS!! Love, Eileen

Jennifer said...

Jan, Omigosh! What a SWEET & EMOTIONAL post! Thank you soo much for sharing. I LOVE the picutes of your family, and it obvious how much you care and love them all!!!! AWESOME!
Love you!
Twink

Shelly @ thePINKbarn said...

Jan...I love your sweet post about your family. My husband and I both have big families, blood relatives, legally adopted and just plain ole claimed as such! (lol) Thank you for sharing your heart and the wonderful pictures!

Mel Seigfried said...

Wonderful pics of your family Jan! Thanks for sharing them with all of us in blogland!! Mel

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