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Category: People (page 1 of 3)

Family

I want to talk about FAMILY!!!

I’ve been thinking on this topic since I first started blogging, and well truthfully I’ve just left this page setting empty.

I started this post the first week in August, titled it, Family, wrote a sentence and just left it.

Why do you ask?

Because, I have been giving this topic a lot, and I mean a lot, of thought!!

Everything that I write has to come straight from my heart, that’s important to me!!

Otherwise…. for me at least, then what is the point of blogging?

 

Family ….. one single word ….. yet it can mean a thousand different things …. depending upon who you ask!!!

Have you ever thought about it …………. really thought about it?

What is Family??????

The Traditional Family!

Growing up, family to me was the traditional type; that’s simply what family was.

I don’t think I can name one friend of mine as a child; that was not raised by both parents. Yes, there were some sadly, that only had one parent due to death!

But not one that I can remember was because of divorce; it was just unheard of when I grew up.

The family was simply the traditional type…….. Dad, Mom, and Kids!!!!

The family was close-knit!!!! You would see each other often, the folks visiting and all the kids outside having a good old time!!!

The family was there to share joys and sorrows, help one another in time of need, attend Church together, have meals together. Simply put family was there for one another!!!

And of course, everybody going to Grandmas’ house for Christmas, a time of food, gifts, laughter, and wonderful memories!

That’s what family was for me as a child!!!

Fast forward just a few years, the family started changing!!

The times of “The Waltons” that my generation grew up watching; slowly started to fade away.

I know many of you reading this, don’t have a clue what I’m talking about… but Google it sometime, watch an episode; it was all about family and the way it should be, was meant to be!!!

But sadly, my generation started changing all that!

We grew up, got married, got busy with our jobs, kids, activities and everything else we could think of in our fast-paced world.

And what happened?

We didn’t hold each other, traditions and marriage sacred as our parents and grandparents did.

And divorce started becoming more common, and the traditional family started to suffer.

I know, I’ve been there…. which brings me to the next era of the family…

The Single Mom Family!

My kids were young teens when divorce hit our little family and tore it apart.

Everybody hurts, no doubt about it.

But I think the children really get hurt the most!!

It’s so very sad what we as adults do to our kids because we don’t hold marriage and family sacred, as we should.

I can still remember how very bad the divorce tore my children’s lives upside down.

Oh my…… simply oh my!!!!!

Being a single Mom is tough, really tough!!!

You are suddenly forced to take care of everything; the house, the bills, a lot of times a job for the first time, everything on your own.

Plus, you’re also trying to help your children through a very hard, hurtful time, and deal with your own hurts and frustrations.

My hat is off to all single Moms everywhere…. it takes a very loving, determined woman to be a successful single parent, it really does!!!

The Single Dad Family!

And in today’s world…. the word family has become a lot of single-parent Dads raising their children.

I never imagined as a child, divorce would be such a big part of our society.

And I never even considered there would be divorced Dad’s as single parents.

But goodness, now they are…. and a bunch of them.

My hat is really off to them! I think we as women are just loving and nurturing by nature, well, those of us that are good Moms anyway.

But men, bless their hearts…. God just did not make a man to be a Mom. They just aren’t wired that way.

I think they have a really hard time trying to fill a Mother’s place in a single dad family.

They have it difficult too, full-time job, the school activities, homework, laundry, groceries, housekeeping, things most men just are not familiar with doing.

Add in those tough situations with their daughters reaching puberty, that boys don’t have and I would imagine Dad wanders what do I say now?

I have the utmost respect for single Dads raising their children, utmost respect!!!

The Blended Family!

Divorce not only brings Single Moms and Dads raising their children. But it also brings along the blended family.

Growing up we watched “The Brady Bunch”, a Dad with three boys and a Mom with three girls, a blended family indeed

To me back then, it just seemed like a show from Hollywood; but now it’s a reality everywhere!

I have never experienced the blended family of children from both parents.

I would imagine it would be very trying at times; and yet, at other times very rewarding.

I can imagine, the parents would probably hear, “Your not my Mom, or your not my Dad.”

Maybe they would hear, “My Mom doesn’t make pancakes like that.” or “My Dad can fix anything.”

I think it’s probably really hard having a blended family, the kids fussing because they are sharing a bedroom, learning new rules, new traditions.

I really respect these families a lot; that would require a lot of compromising…. my hat is off to all!

Family, it’s ever-changing, isn’t it?

The Mixed Racial Family!

Do I think it is wrong?

No, I do not, not in any way form or fashion.

Some people in our society look down on it, but obviously, they have not really read their Bible about Moses marrying an Ethiopian woman.

You need to read it if you disagree….

You will find it in the Old Testament in Numbers Chapter 12.

It may change your mind about how you feel.

Everybody is equal, no matter background, skin color, or where you were born.

We all should be treated exactly equal. Yet some people still so frown on such families.

Shame on you!

They are family just like you are. Dad, Mom, and Children.

They love and care for each other in their family, just like you do your own family.

So be kind and accepting.

Not one of us has a right to say a word about other people that is unkind, not one of us.

School children have a hard enough time in school today, without our own kids hearing us make cruel remarks and then repeating them to others.

I applaud these families…..

Another new era……. I’m not sure how to put this one.

The Same Sex Family!

Do I agree with it?? No, absolutely not… I do not!

But at the same time, I have no right to judge; that is simply up to God.

So, I simply accept it as something that has taken place in our society today; knowing that I am to treat each person with kindness and respect.

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Have you ever stopped to think how the children may feel?

I’m sure they get plenty of love and acceptance in their home.

But quite simply, people and kids can be cruel.

Anything out of the normal brings taunting and ridicule.

Should we be cruel? No, absolutely not.

We should always be kind to everybody, absolutely everybody!

So in ways, I have compassion for the families, I do not agree with same-sex families, but I do imagine it’s difficult for them in some ways as well.

We have all types of families in our world. Even those we wouldn’t normally think of like a family.

The Orphanage Family!

For instance….. have you ever thought about all the children in orphanages?

I have……. often.

They have no real home and parents.

Don’t you imagine they think of each other as a family?

Playing together, learning together, sharing things together…

They simply share everything, every day…. just like a family does.

And don’t you imagine that as some children are adopted and leave the orphanage, don’t you imagine the remaining children miss them, think of them as their brothers and sisters, and are hurt.

Think about all the children and their orphanage family as well!

The Senior Center Family!

They are like family...

Many of them never have one person that visits, ever.

That’s a fact!!!

I have visited different nursing homes and assisted living centers to bring a smile, a listening ear, cards at Christmas.

The majority of them are so lonely, and need visitors, people that care enough to sit a spell with them, just listen.

But they rely on each other, befriend each other, eat together, do activities together.

For many that is all the family, they know in their last days!

By the way, y’all should consider visiting your local nursing home sometime, so many people there need visitors…. consider it, okay…

Isn’t that another form of the family?

Simply put, yes it sure is!

The Homeless Family!

Have you ever really thought about the homeless?

They are people too; yes I know society tends to look down on them; but each and every person in this world matter, are important.

Yes, I’m sure some choose to live that way, well because they have gotten used to it; it is their comfort zone now.

But I truly believe most people never planned to be homeless, don’t want to be on the streets, without a home, a real bed, a kitchen to cook in, a family to love them.

But unfortunately it is a big part of our society today, and I find it heartbreaking.

And I also think of them as a group of people that make up a family.

After all, as we have discussed through each section, a family is simply a group of people that share their lives together.

And that is what the homeless do as well.

They often eat together, share time with one another, look out for each other; and most importantly they understand each other.

That makes a family…

None of us ever probably get close enough to care for them, listen to their stories, understand what happened to cause them to be there.

But they each understand the next persons’ plight, they are there, they know.

So see, there is a group of people that make up the homeless family; as sad as that may be.

The Work Family!

This may sound silly to some, but I think employees can be a family of sort.

Good grief you spend forty plus hours a week together, some even more than that.

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You share meetings, tasks, and lunchtimes together.

You help one another with work tasks, talk, share, listen… you come to care about one another.

Maybe get together after work or on weekends to have fun activities together.

And if you have worked for a long period of time at one place, you have probably befriended many to know all about their own families at home, their children by name.

All of that, to me, makes a sort of family in the workplace.

The Church Family!

This is one family nobody will deny if they attend Church.

Being a part of a Church family is so awesome!

I pray you are part of a Church somewhere; if not consider it.

I have had the pleasure of being part of three Church families in my lifetime and was so very blessed in each.

There are no words to describe the closeness you share with your Church family.

To this day, I can walk into either three Churches and know, that I know, that I am welcome and loved.

Your Church family are not only your friends, and in some cases your own family, but they are also your closest family of all.

Together, you praise God, study the Bible, share one another’s joys and sorrows, pray together, often eat together, share an important part of your life together.

Your welcome with open arms, firm handshakes and hugs, and you’re loved.. simply as you are, just for you.

There’s nothing like having a Church family!!

The Military Family! 

I can not start to express my gratefulness and respect that I have for each and every man and woman that has served and is serving in the military, fighting to keep our country free.

Where would this nation be without their sacrifices, for some the ultimate sacrifice?

I think it must take a very special person to be willing to fight for our country, our freedom.

I truly respect each and every person in our military. Have you stopped to think about the families they leave behind when they go to fight for our country?

I feel for all of them, the wives, husbands, children, parents, grandparents, siblings they leave here holding down the home front while they fight for our freedom.

We need to keep them all in our prayers, help in any way we can!

I can’t start to imagine the life of a military family.

But at the same time…. when I think of the military family.

I also think of the group of them together in a foreign country together.

To me, they are a military family.

They train, sleep and eat together.

They share their letters from home, family stories, show off pictures of their loved ones.

They share so very much!

I would imagine they share the good times with laughter, and are there for one another with the sorrowful times as well.

They befriend each other, bond; a bond that most of us will probably never understand.

They not only fight our enemies, but many give their lives to save others in their group.

That is a family, an honest to goodness military family.

A type of family that deserves ALL of our honor, appreciation, and respect!

The family is a variety of things to everybody, from all walks of life.

I think that is what makes it so wonderful!

We don’t have to be blood, to be a family.

A family is simply a group of people that share their time and life together, lean on each other, depend on and help one another.

Yes, that is also the meaning of a good friend, but to me, it’s also the meaning of Family!

So where ever you are, whatever you do….. I hope and pray you are sharing your life with family.

Whether it’s a family of two, or twenty, maybe even a hundred.

Maybe even a single person with his or her pet that they share their life.

 

We all hopefully have some sort of family!

A family by blood, marriage, or adoption.

Maybe a family in an orphanage, or Senior living.

Family with the homeless (God bless their souls).

The work family, the blessings of a Church Family.

Military families that protect our country

(By the way…..Thank you All for Your Gift of Service),

Whatever your definition of family is to you…..

I pray you simply cherish it!!!!!!

 

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Seniors

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I absolutely love Seniors!!!

I always have, ever since I was a little girl.

I found it fascinating to listen to my grandparents stories of “the old days” or “way back then” or ” when I was a youngun.”

I so wish they were still here, I would have spent a lot more time listening to them!

And usually just about every story they told would bring a light to their eyes and a smile to their face.

Have you ever really taken time to just sit and visit with a Senior?

They have so much wisdom to share with all of our younger generations including us old folks in our fifties.

They are like a library of knowledge and wisdom.

A few years ago I worked with Seniors a lot, and I still cherish each of those memories to this day.

Yes some were less than kind, at times some were just mean, but most often it was simply a joy and a privilege to be able to sit and visit with them.

I loved to listen to their stories, sometimes over and over; a few had Alzheimer’s really bad, so I would hear the same stories repeatedly, a lot of times in the same day, but it didn’t matter.

They were reliving memories in their own lives that brought them peace and joy, you could hear it in their voice, see it on their faces.

Growing up I spent a lot of time with my Grandma, and her and Grandpa would have company often. They would just sit around and visit, goodness how I miss those times.

And the stories they could tell, it was always so much fun, to listen to them.

I wish people still took time for our elders the way we should. They so deserve our utmost love and respect and kindness.

So many Seniors feel like they dont matter anymore, they are just in the way, that could not be farther from the truth.

Maybe they cant get around like they once did, or even hear or see like in the younger days; but folks our Seniors are so very special, and they matter so much.

I wish the generations today had the manners, morals and respect and work ethics that our Grandparents had and instilled in their children; and some of us tried to instill in our own children.

Young adults and kids today are so different than they were 30 years ago. They all dont know what they are missing by not taking time to appreciate the older generations.

Oh, the things we all can learn from them, at any age.

At our little Church, it is mainly the older generations, and oh how I love it!!!

Do I think of them as old? Nope, not one of them, in my book; you aint old til you reach a hundred!

But oh my goodness, how I love and cherish each and everyone of them.

They are true treasures!!!

I hope you think about the Seniors in your neighborhood, your family, your Church, the work place, wherever you may be; perhaps even just a person you pass by sometime.

Take the time to say hello, address them with respect by saying mam or sir.

Hold the door for them, let them go in front of you.

Be really kind, if you are in a restaurant and see a Senior or a couple eating alone, quitely ask the waitress for their ticket and just buy their meal for them, anonymously.

Show kindness, true kindness, and treat them the way you would want someone to treat your own grandparent; or the way you would like to be treated when you are their age.

I promise you, if you have any morals and respect at all for others, you will so enjoy those brief encounters, you both will be blessed.

There’s an old saying, “Sometimes you are the only Bible a person ever reads.”

Well, sometimes you may be the only person that has a chance to speak to them that day, or even in a few days; so be kind and sow some joy in their day.

I promise you, if you do so with good intentions and sincerity, God will smile on you too.

So try it, will ya?

Til next time!!!

Grandmas

Grandma, isn’t that one of the sweetest words? 

 There are so many wonderful names for Grandma.  Some are called Granny, Grandmother, Mammaw, Nana, and of course, Grandma, among many other wonderful names.

I hope you were blessed to have at least one Grandma in your life. 

I was very fortunate, during my life as a child, I still had two great-grandmothers, both that I thought of as Granny, and both my Grandmas’ one which I called Granny and the other Grandma.

My maternal great grandmother, I saw rarely, she lived a good distance away.  I remember her as this little bitty frail lady that dressed so pretty and was so ladylike.  I thought she was just a precious little soul.

 I can still remember going to Georgia with my Grandma to visit with her one day, she was so pretty in her pink dress, she was just my dainty little Granny.

Then there was my other maternal great grandmother, I called her Granny.  She didn’t live all that far from us, so we got to see her more often. 

The first thing I think of when I think of her was there was always food, and always sweets of some sort.  And how she kept that little tray of candy on her table where she sat; and she always had a little throw over her legs.   

In 1976, to commemorate the bicentennial year of 1776, these new coins came out that she bought and gave every one of us kids, and there was a bunch of us, one of the new bicentennial half dollars.    I hope everybody still has theirs, mine is put up and I will treasure it forever.

Both of my great-grandmothers went on home when I was in my teens.  It’s odd looking back now, I really don’t remember much about that time.  Maybe its because I really didn’t see them that much, or because they were my great grandmothers instead of my grandmothers, but never less they both went home in the seventies.

Then there’s my paternal Grandma, she was called Granny by all.   She had a sense of humor like none other, loved to laugh and one of her favorite quotes, when you were leaving, was “I’ll see you in the funny papers.”

Granny loved to sit outside, she had her green rocking chair sitting on the inside corner of the porch, she would sit out there in the mornings and brush out her beautiful long hair, braid it all and wrap it up on her head.  Always, that was Grannys way of wearing her hair forever.

And my favorite thing to do with Granny was to sit out there and listen to her tell me about the old days.  I got to spend a few days alone with her one weekend, and I’ll never forget it.  We would get up in the morning have oatmeal, then go outside on the porch for her to do her hair and just enjoy the morning.

Then in a bit, we would get a hankering for some sweet tea.  So off we would go to the kitchen.

Do yall remember those big old pickle jars, that’s what Granny made her tea in.  We’d brew up a jar full, make sure it was good and sweet, grab two glasses with ice, the jar of sweet tea and out to the porch, we would go.  Granny would sit in her chair, and I would sit there by her, passing the day in the greatest way, talk and stories of the old days and a jug of sweet tea.   Those were the days.

I also loved Church with Granny.  She had her favorite spot in Church to sit, the back row, corner against the wall.  I would often sit by her and hold the songbook as we sang.  Of course Granny knew her favorites by heart.  What were they?  “Where the roses never fade”  and “I’ll fly away” among others.  We would just sit there together and sing, listen to preaching and enjoy Church together.  I miss those days with her.

Goodness, I miss her!  Granny got sick and went home to be with the Lord during the Christmas season in the early eighties.  To this day I can’t listen to the song “Blue Christmas” without breaking down in tears, because that was one of the songs that were playing during the procession as I was driving.   Granny was a one of a kind joy!

Do I have any still living?  Yes, my maternal Grandmother.    She seems to be called different names by a bunch of us. To some, she is Mammaw, some Granny, and to some of us, she is Grandma.   I spent more time with her growing up than with any of the others. 

I couldn’t wait til Friday afternoons at 4:15.  On a lot of those Friday’s Grandma would get off work at four, and then be coming up the driveway at 4:15 to pick me up.  I was off to Grandmas, sometimes for one night but often for the weekend.

I so enjoyed time with my Grandma.  She taught me more things than anybody else in this world.  I can remember as a little girl, Grandma had an old upright piano.  She would teach me a little here and there, always out of the Church hymnal.  Our favorite was always page 57, what song is that?  Amazing Grace.

When I look back today, I think about Grandpa, bless his heart.  He would be sitting in the living room watching “The Lawrence Welk Show” and then “Hee Haw”.    But, on the other side of that living room wall, where Grandpa always sat stretched out watching his favorite tv shows was the bedroom with the piano on the exact same wall. 

And exactly where Grandma and I were every Saturday night that I got to stay there, banging on that piano and singing “Amazing Grace” at times at the top of our lungs.  I can honestly say that piano playing wasn’t perfect, goodness most of the time, not even good, oh poor Grandpa, rest his soul.

Grandma also spent a lot of time in the kitchen. I remember she had this old cabinet that had a flour bin in it.  I bet a lot of you have no idea what that even is; they are a thing of the past, for sure.   But when I was young, Grandma would give me an old pie plate, and I would get in the flour, mix it up with water, and have a heyday playing.   Those were good times! 

I learned tons of things from Grandma.   I learned about cooking, she has this big old gray cookbook, older than dirt, but we would get in there and pick out a recipe and just go for it.  And one thing Grandma always taught me was to clean as you go.  To this day, I still do.  By the time the meal is ready, everything is all cleaned up, you can sit down at the table enjoy a meal together, then wash those last few dishes, sweep the floor and all is spic and span till the next meal.

Grandma also taught me about sewing.  She loves to sew, make clothes, quilts and all sort of things.  I remember this blue purse she made me when I was a kid, I loved that purse, I don’t know whatever happened to it, but I wish I still had it today.  The ladies in the neighborhood would come to Grandma with cloth and patterns, and those words “Grace, can you make these for me?”  And of course she could, Grandma loved to sew.  I can remember days when we would just spend the entire day in her sewing room, having a blast.

She also taught me embroidery, knitting, crocheting (which I never quite got the hang of).  I could crochet a chain to stretch across the floor, but row two and turning back was a disastrous joke.  But to this day, I still attempt it from time to time.  But my Grandma, she can sit there and crochet the most beautiful doilies without even looking at it, just talking up a storm.   I have quite a few doilies she has made me through the years, in various places in the house now, and to me they are priceless.

If you have read one of my other blogs titled, “Come on in, sit a spell.”  That blog was based a lot on my Grandma.  They would often have company, and that’s what Grandma would say, “well come on in sit a spell.”  Her and my Grandpa loved to have company, I can remember she would just smile that cute grin she has when company would come up.   They all would just sit and visit and talk on and on; sometimes over Grandmas instant tea, or coffee, but oh how she loved company.

To this day when I get a chance to visit with her, which I am ashamed to say is never ever often enough, she still talks about the company she used to have, and how lonely it gets now because she spends so much time alone. 

My Grandma turns ninety this week; goodness that’s so hard to believe. 

Can you just imagine all the different things she has seen in all those years?   I can’t start to imagine, she has gone through the great depression, wars, cars being invented, televisions, telephones, microwaves, computers, and I can’t even start to imagine all the different dress and hairstyles.  You know there’s been a bunch.   

Today when we gathered for her birthday, she said she didn’t know if she would be here to see another birthday or not.  I sure hope she is.   But there is one thing I know for sure beyond the shadow of a doubt. When that day comes, Grandma is going to split Heaven wide open, as the old saying goes.  Not a doubt in my mind.

My Grandma loves the Lord, I mean really loves the Lord. One of her favorite things to do is study the Bible daily.   Grandma and I have always enjoyed our discussions about the Bible and the Lord,  that’s something we both enjoy talking about so much together;  we have since my teen years.   

 And to hear that woman pray, oh my.  When Grandma bows her head and starts to pray its as if the Angels of Heaven themselves have come and filled the room and that we are in the very presence of the Lord,  I love to hear my Grandma pray.   

I’ve heard many many people pray a lot in Church, at functions, at the dinner table, family gatherings, etc.   But let me tell you none of any of their prayers can even start to compare to my Grandma’s prayers.  You can actually feel the very presence of the Lord and that sweet sweet Spirit feel the room.

Well, I’ve talked a lot about my Grandmothers.  I so hope and pray you have been blessed with knowing and loving yours.   I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to know my great Grandmothers and Grandmothers.    It’s truly a joy to have had them all in my life.

And on the flip side, there is nothing in this world like being a Grandma,  in my case “Nana.”   

You think you love and dote on your kids, but when those grandbabies start coming along, oh my stars the love and joy that feels your heart and the joys they bring.  I’m blessed with four grandchildren, three of which just live over the hill.  To me, there’s no greater joy than spending time with them.

My hope and prayers are that I can teach them things that they will cherish as they grow up.   That I can leave them with the same love for the Lord as my Grandma has, as I have and that I can have a wonderful influence on their lives like my Grandmothers have for me.

If you haven’t talked or visited with your Grandparents lately, pick up the phone give them a call, or even just hop in the car and go for a visit, and as Grandma would say, “Come on in, sit a spell!”   

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