I’ve talked a lot about my friends…. and how my friends have rallied by my side… What I’d love to talk about today is FAMILY….

Almost 12 years ago… I moved to North Carolina from Wisconsin and left a lot of family in Wisconsin. My father is one of 13 children…. My Mom is one of 5 children…. So needless to say… I have A LOT of family. I haven’t seen much of my family for many, many years…. This past year I was able to see some of them while we visited…. Facebook is amazing because it’s allowed me to re-connect with many of my cousins, aunts and uncles….. It’s a way of staying in touch and connected without physically having to be there…. My Mom’s side of the family is a bit more contained…. it’s easier to keep track of who’s who….. My father’s side of the family on the other hand….. it’s like a spider web of people procreating and growing and I sadly don’t even know all of my family anymore!!!! I’ve always said… I have dozens and dozens of cousins…..

While growing up, my cousins were truly my friends…. we always hung out together…. our family gatherings were large and loud! A  lot of beer drinking and singing….. It was a lot like a Hank Williams “Family Tradition”… as a matter of fact that was the family anthem…. and it was sung loud and proud at every gathering….. Gosh, I miss it! A lot of great memories…..

Growing up, I’d sing… alongside my Dad and my uncles…. and now cousins…. Singing and good ol’ country music runs deep within our blood….. And rednecks don’t only reside in the south…. 🙂 It’s a truly amazing family dynamic!

What’s amazing to me…. is despite years and distance (Wisconsin, Arkansas, North Carolina & Alabama)…. my family came together in a way for me that I just honestly never expected….  I’m going to TRY so hard to make it up to Wisconsin this year, so I can hug each and every one of you personally…..Thank you so much!

There are a lot of boys and less girls in my Dad’s family… but the girls stick together like glue…. I’ve mentioned my Aunt Patty before…. she suffered a few years ago from the exact same type of breast cancer that I have…. and she has been such an amazing source of support for me during this time…. When you have had cancer… it’s amazing – the bond you share…

I just want you all to know just how much I love you all and I miss you terribly…. and can’t wait to see you all very soon!

My Mom’s family is a lot more quaint… My grandmother is still alive is is 94 years old… and as sharp as a tack! I was able to see her last summer.. She calls my Mom all the time to check on me to see how I’m doing….. There are 5 kids total… Several of my aunts and cousins and I are able to keep touch on Facebook which is so amazing…. It’s amazing the older I’ve gotten, my personality, loyalty, etc…. comes from my Dad’s side of the family… but my appearance, etc…. is so much like my Mom’s side of the family….. I love you all so much and so appreciate all the love and support and encouragement…. it means so much to me!

I’ve talked some about my Mom & Dad…. watching me go through cancer… has been one of the hardest things for them to watch….. I’ve always been a pretty resilient kid…. Ahhh, I still am!!! 🙂 My Dad is a strong man who fixes…. and this is something he cannot fix… and I know it’s hard for him. My Mom… is nurturing and amazing…. truly a kind, amazing person…. I know that they are so proud of me… watching me battle this! I look forward to the day…. when it will be me taking care of them!!!

I have two brothers…. Dean and Dan…. I know this is killing them as well….. My brother Dean said, it’s just too hard to watch sometimes….. I totally get it….. Even though I have cancer…. I still can’t believe it. I’m going through chemo…. I’m going through all of this… but I still can’t believe it’s real…. I say it ALL the time!!! Both of my brothers…. were off doing their teenage things…. when I was growing up…. fast cars and girls…. 🙂 There is an 8 an 10 year difference between us…. so hanging out with the sis’ was not exactly their ideal idea of a way to spend the day….. ❤ But… we had our moments…. our very special moments and memories and a bond…. that is amazing. Again… I thank Facebook for a way to peek into their lives… see their kids grow… and feel a part of the family….  And…. I’ll talk about my kids in another post…. this is getting way too long….. ❤ ❤

It’s so important to reflect upon your family, tell them how much you love them… OFTEN. Our days are not promised….

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