Sunday, May 4, 2014

Family Tree

So... my family tree is a strange one. I always pictured it something like this...

I have my Dad's family... who I didn't get to know very well until I was older, and my Mom's second husband's family... who I knew super well as a kid, but pretty much lost at the age of 15. Which was super strange because it left me at a very lonely place at a young and impressionable age.
Now that I'm older with kids of my own, I often think about the things that molded me as a kid... the good, the bad... the crazy.
This weekend I attended the funeral of my Mom's second husband's Mother. Which sounds a bit distant... but was the Grandma I saw the most often as a kid. She went by "Grandmother", and from the ages of 5 -14... she was one of my 7 grandparents.
I remember taking the 3 hour drive out to Vernal probably 4-5 times a year. We always went out for Memorial Day and a couple summer trips. My Mom's husband had 2 half-brother's that lived out in Vernal (I told you the tree was strange!), and one of them had kids the same ages as kids in our family. I remember how exciting it was when I was little to get instant cousins. They were the cousins I grew up closest to.
At the funeral this weekend I got to see those cousins again. I always wished I was part of their family when I was young... and honestly I still wish I was part of that family! The cousins my age were boys, but they teased me and taught me things I would imagine I could have learned from having brother's. I remember loving them as much as you can love boy cousins... but that love grew from a mixture of admiration, fear, respect, and sharing fun and crazy experiences growing up. This family had boats, snow mobiles, dirt bikes, motorcycles, and more toys and gadgets then I can even remember. They were the first people I knew to have a Nintendo (which we weren't allowed to have) and pets (which we weren't allowed to have) and when we were in Vernal it kind of felt like another world to me. A world wherein I thought all kids lived the most care-free and fun-filled lives! I think I felt that way because Vernal was where life felt the most normal to me.
Visiting now is different, but it still brings back so many fun and crazy memories. My cousins have grown and we now have children who are as old as we were when we had some of our adventures. I got to visit and see all of them... and what I love is that their family is still close and yet they have a realness that is so refreshing. I long for both of those things... and have neither... closeness or realness!
I came home from my visit and told Mike that "that" is what I want for my girls. I want them to stay close, raise their babies together, and be there for each other forever! I want my girls to have a strong beautiful family tree, with just enough branches to make it beautiful.

I am so grateful for their example to me, they give me hope and bring me happiness. They make me want to care for... water, fertilize, prune, spray, and really work hard to give my girls the strong and beautiful family tree I always wanted!

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