Do you have a Family?

Who do you think of when you hear the word “Family.”

      I know that there are all kinds of Families these days.

      I grew up in a family with my Mother and Father and my 3 younger brothers.

This is my favorite family picture of me, My Mother and Father and my brothers Mike and Doug. Sorry Brian, you weren’t born yet!

My parents were married for 43 years before my Mother died of breast cancer.

When my husband Matthew and I got married, we formed a blended family or what I liked to call a blending family!

Matt and I were both divorced.

I was divorced twice.

I’ll let that sink in a minute…

As much as I loved my Son’s, I was unable to provide the family unit for them that I had while I was growing up and honestly, that I took for granted.

That is one more thing that I had to ask and receive forgiveness for, from others as well as myself.

When Matt and I met and married, had 3 sons, I had 2 sons and together we added another son and a daughter. We’ve been married for 16 years.

Our early years all mixing and blending together were always colorful!

One time when our 4 boys stayed together at home while Matt and I ran a quick errand with Jami, the police were called and they were on their way over.

The boys were 13, 12, 10 and 9 &1/2.

Apparently they were squabbling with each other and Billy tried to call me.

My cell phone number started with the numbers 917.

He accidentally dialed 911 and hung up.

Zachary, Daniel, Billy and Cory the day Matt and I got married.

We walked in the door right after it happened and then the police showed up.

What a head shaking moment.

This was before Robbie and Virginia were born!

Our family was unique in many ways just like there are other unique families in our world.

My grandson Logan has been raised by his grandparents. All three sets.img_0792-1

He has primarily been raised by his maternal grandparents with both sets of paternal grandparents having him on the weekends.

I’ll never forget when Logan was 4 and we were getting ready for bed. He looked at me and said ” I don’t have a family.”

I looked at him and I could feel my whole face fall when our eyes met.

Logan and Nana. We are Family.

Logan sheepishly smiled and said with a chuckle ” Oh Nana, you’re my family.” I said “Yes, I’m your family.”  I went down the list of all the people in his family. He said “but I don’t have a friends family.”

I asked him what he meant by a friend’s family and he said ” a mommy and a daddy and we all live together.” I explained that not everybody has a “Friends Family ”

Mommy and Daddy and 3 week old Logan on Superbowl Sunday 2013

Logan was in preschool at the time and he would see other children leave with their Mommy one day and their Daddy the next. The other kids would talk about their Mommy and Daddy. That was where he came up with a “Friends Family.”

Logan got picked up from preschool by his Grandma, or his Paw Paw or me, his Nana.

Billy was still alive then, but Logan’s 4-year-old observation about not having a family made my heart sad.

Billy loved Logan so much. He tried so hard to be a good Daddy. He had steady and stable work, He was making great strides to always be in Logan’s everyday life.

Daddy and Logan playing together and having fun.

I read this post on his Facebook page on Christmas Day 2017. One month and 2 days before he was murdered.  img_0797I’m sure dying was not what he had in mind…

After Billy was murdered, we had to pick the right words to tell Logan.

We kept it simple but Logan is a thinker. He is smart and retains what he hears and sees.

I have no idea what he heard or from who those 1st couple of weeks.

Logan was at his Daddy’s memorial service and he saw his Daddy’s body in the casket.

I know that some people may have done things differently, however, we know Logan and that was what was right for him. I know that every child is different.

Logan had a lot of questions.

There was one question that came about 2 weeks after Billy’s death. ”

Does the man who hurt Daddy have a family?” “Yes, I said. He has a family.” Logan replied “Oh, then we can’t hurt him back.” ” No Logan, we can’t hurt him back.”img_0796

This little boy and his simple way of looking at life has far more depth than many people who are grown.

Logan is right. We should not hurt people who have hurt us, no matter how badly.

We shouldn’t try to get revenge to make it right.

I think Jesus said it best.

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you Matthew 5:43-44

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