As usual, I had camera issues on my latest little get away with mom, Joanna and Anne. My batteries died and I had forgotten to bring any new ones, so this is the only shot I got of all four of us together.
But, I like it. Part silly, part artsy- it’s a fun picture of a really good weekend. We laughed a lot, we shopped, we talked and caught up…. girl stuff.
Over the years, the connection between the four of us has ebbed and flowed for me. There have been times I have felt closer and times I have felt more distant. In part, this is because we are very different from one another. We have different lifestyles. Different experiences in marriage and motherhood. Varied career paths. We all live in different states currently, although in my adult life I have lived in the same state with each at some point. All the differences could (and sometimes feels as if they do) put a strain on the closeness between us. There are times where I have been so busy, so lazy or so preoccupied with my own life, that the efforts to stay close to my sisters and mom have been weak. Luckily, they are always willing to reconnect with me when I pull my head up and see them too far in the distance and realize I haven’t been intentional about showing love or sharing life.
One of the truths about family I have come to know as I’ve gotten older is “what we share is more important than what we don’t”. Love, for example. Love for our families, each other and God. Memories, is another. These are the only 3 women who can tell you what I was like as a little girl, or know who my first boyfriend was, or who can hear the sound of my Abuela’s voice. Respect and admiration of each other is another commonality. We all genuinely see things in each other we hold in high regard. As I spent time enjoying each of these wonderful women who are my family I thought about some of those things.
Joanna is hard working, empathetic, creative and kind. She feels deeply and takes the time to show it to others. She has been a single mom for a long time and has worked her hind end off to support my nephew but never complains about her lack of money or how hard life can be. In fact, quite the opposite, she expresses gratitude for her blessings and chooses to see the positive. She is a teacher by profession and an artist by nature. She is about to marry a really great man, and I could not be happier for her.
Anne was my baby sister. I used to love to carry her around
the yard and pretend she was my baby. She quit being my “little sister” a long time ago though. She is a nurse who is currently a stay-at-home-mom to my nieces. Her husband travels a lot so she is often home with her girls solo. She has struggled with really difficult health issues with my oldest niece, but never ever wavers in her commitment to be the best mom she can. In fact, in every relationship she wants to be her best. Annie is thoughtful, hard working, funny and adventurous (mission trip to Brazil while pregnant!). She also has a great heart for hurting kids around the world and quietly does her part to make a difference.
I will blog later this week about mom as Mother’s Day approaches and there is much I could say. But when I think about my mom I mostly think about her love for God and her love for our family, me included. Mom always inspires me with her desire to learn and grow and change. She is a great example to me of living a balanced life- she takes cares of herself, yet sacrificially loves others. She works really hard but also knows how to have fun. She is entirely devoted to my dad, but has many close friendships she maintains. She was a stay-at-home mom, and then for a long time a working mom. She is beautiful, but knows her worth is not in her outer appearance.
So, these are the three women God chose for me as family. And I am grateful.