I realize, I have been on a tiny negative road for a while, so perhaps I had best concentrate on something a little more uplifting? Maybe I should share a few things that have happened in my life, that I am extremely grateful for? I know I have gone on a few times about the amazing friends that I have been lucky enough to pick up through the decades, but, there are others that I feel deserve to be immortalized in this written media, so here goes.
These folks are ones that are in a section devoted to "extended family". Now, they are not all related, but, they somehow became a part of our home, and therefore, beyond friends. I will start with someone who IS family, but became my third daughter.
Many, many years ago, when my honey and I first decided to take the plunge and become a couple, there was just the three of us, myself, my honey, and my 5 year old daughter. Oh, things were not peachy keen, I doubt many parents have an easy time when they form another relationship when a young child is involved. She will admit, today, she made his life miserable, and.... understandable. But, only months into our new life, we heard rumblings that my Honey's father was considering sending his two youngest off to live with their maternal grandmother. Yikes, we knew to uproot a teenage girl and her younger brother would not be a positive things, so...after some debate, we decided to bring them into our home. Family should stay together, right?
Imagine, a pretty new romance, a ticked off 5 year old, and add 2 more kids who had to make a choice on being sent away, or moving into our home! It was less than easy. We did not start off our lives together wealthy (cripes still haven't got there). Many times we had to learn to attempt to survive on EI or 6 week holdbacks, with a housefull. I learned to make meals with 3 ingredients, one of which was always rice from a ginormous bag that took up the whole bottom area of my pantry. I have heard from some, that they hate rice to this day, because it was so constant in those years.
My daughter may not have made my honey's life easy, but, his sister became her sister. Oh, don't think that happened instantly, or maybe it did. She did everything in her power to tick CL off, and I suppose that is common for little sisters? Poor CL was the live-in babysitter, both my honey and I would jump at any chance to work, and often we would be on opposite shifts, leaving CL to look after the 2 others.
I never regretted the decision , O.K. maybe I did, it wasn't easy! My honey did many jobs away from home, and it was certainly not any easier for me to become the "Parent" to his siblings, than for him to "parent"my daughter. But....When CL found her own honey, and had her own child, she called me on Mother's Day, that was a gift I will always treasure. Perhaps it is sad, I wish she had grown up with her Mother, but, I suppose for those years, she accepted I was the closest thing to a Mother, and because she did not have a higher standard to judge me by, I was rewarded.
Because my first children had a 10 year gap, when we moved to Hazelton, my oldest was almost 15, and the younger 2 were 4 and 3. I worked there as well, my oldest did not come right away, so we had to have a babysitter for an hour between my afternoon shift and my honey's day shift. It was not easy!! I wanted to work (and sort of had to) because moving to a new town, I knew no one, and a job allowed me to meet people. However, the opposing shifts, and lack of family time took their toll. My honey belonged to the ambulance service, so we decided I would stay home, so he could go on call after his work day.
That was the year my son started Kindergarten. I remember going to the school just after he started and a lady coming up to me and asking if I was interested in "babysitting". Her son was in the same class, and she had heard that I was a stay-at-home Mom. Yikes!! I had not really given this much thought, how many times had I moaned that I had too many kids, nothing was ever clean, I didn't have a moment to myself! However...this would be an instant friend for my 5 year old, a few extra dollars in my pocket, so why not?
That was the best decision I ever made. My son not only had a friend, I found one as well! This woman became a friend I desperately needed in a new place. She put her trust in me, with her child, which is a huge thing, and this blossomed into something far beyond child care. Her son came to our home for as long as they lived in this town. My son stayed with them often, they took him on trips, it was like both boys had two homes. Hey, my friend continued to pay me, and in truth, each time I felt guilty, if we didn't need the extra money, I would have loved to be able to hand it back, because it stopped being a job almost immediately. I benefited in so many ways, payment almost seemed like theft.
Today, these boys are almost 23 years old, and both families have moved far apart, however, at this moment, my "second son" is upstairs sleeping. These boys decided they would get together, and it is like time stood still. They spent a few days visiting my youngest daughter, and had a blast.Who knew that the day I decided to "baby-sit" 18 years ago, would result in relationships that extended our little family so far?Both of these boys love their Moms, but have developed such a tight family bond, that they in fact claim the "second son" titles, and spent time digging to discover somehow they are related "twice removed". Guess this makes things legal;,LOL.
I would be remiss not to mention my other "son". He showed up the moment we moved here. Not sure how that happened, one minute he was visiting in our trailer, the next we trusted him to look after our home and pets when we went off on a holiday. He simply became a part of our lives. The boys were always together, if I woke up on a weekend and W was not in the house, I would worry. He was a part of our Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. Just seemed right.
There would always be a crowd of kids in the house, and sometimes I would wake up in the morning to find 5 teenage boys sleeping in the bedroom, on floors, or on my living room couch. Not sure why it was my house, but, they were quiet, and would all disappear, never had an occasion to witness drinking (maybe when we were gone?) just a group of kids comfortable enough to spend the night somewhere safe and warm.
So, perhaps I only had 3 children, but, in truth, I have been lucky enough to have the joy of watching many more grow up, and having them allow me to be a part of their lives. I can grow old, with the knowledge that I will never be alone...I have a family which extends farther than I ever imagined.I thank you all, for this amazing gift!!