rough week. but last thursday, mum & i didn't think nana would live through the night and here she is doing better! praise Jesus for small miracles. there's been light, good moments. I want to focus on the beauty. so here are things I learned from spending every spare moment in Apopka with my dads family:
1) family means everything. i didn't know how tight we really were. tragedy tears apart or brings together; we're together. of course, 4 sons with strong & different personalities plus 4 necessarily strong wives; there are bound to be a few small explosions... but. after the smoke clears, we pull together. division is not the lasting note. underneath it all there is strength & loyalty. I've been so impressed, encouraged, & grateful at the way my uncles & aunts & cousins dropped everything. they put their lives in wyoming & texas on pause. they've taken care of Nana and worked through rough days. everybody wants Nana to be happy. we want what's best for her. I'm so grateful to be in a family where love is greater than pride or greed. we're not the family you hear about in the paper.
unless it's the humor section...
2) we're hilarious Bullshitting runs in the bloodlines...my uncles make things up faster than you can blink. we're also fluent in sarcasm, off-key singing, & colorful storytelling. "american girl dolls are racist. the only one with green eyes is the red hair girl." like nana herself said: "we've had some giggles"
3) my grandfather really adores his wife I already knew this, but they've never been a very PDA couple. so when Buffie calls her honey & holds her hand, it knifes me. so precious, and good to have what I always thought confirmed. he truly loves her like nothing.
4) I've seen new sides to my uncles there are specific character traits that haven't been highlighted in the limited time spent with them over the years. but now they stand out clearly in each of them: uncle Kenneth is steady, level-headed; the rock of the family trying to keep spirits up. uncle Kevin pays more attention to people than I ever knew, & sees needs. uncle Mark is the most compassionate, more bent towards serving. I've always respected them, partly for being somewhat like my own dad. but now I have a stronger basis for that respect.
5) Nana is truly selfless she STILL tries to take care of all of us! even when talking is nearly impossible, she asks who is where & if they need anything. she so badly doesn't want to be a burden. here she is suffering; & she's concerned about our lives and our comfort & worrying about us.
6) nana is secretly Sherlock she may be sick, but she can hear somebody in the kitchen or bedroom or talking even with the tv on. she's very aware of who is where & what's going on. she figured things put when we try to avoid telling her things that may add to her worry. sometimes she gets confused, but it's only physical. mentally she is still sharp as a whip!
there are other things that come to mind but I'm tired and I've had my "life is beautiful" for the day. Thank you Jesus for lightheartedness.