I love my family. I especially want to say how much I love and appreciate and admire my parents. They not only raised us 4 kids under somewhat trying conditions and over 30 years, they've not only been through some serious hell because of what certain of their children did, but they keep at it. They keep parenting, and not just grandparenting.
Don't get me wrong, I love their grandparenting-- I wish they got to do more of it close up, but retirement's right around the corner. Punkin Boy got to talk to my mom this week; it was so great to watch and listen to. She went from "OK, I've got to get back to work now" (don't think she goofs off at the office; this was her lunch hour!) to "Ooh, I get to talk to my grandbaby!" in 0.6 seconds. Totally cute.
Anyway, I've been really appreciating my folks lately. They don't push or interfere, but they do kind, considerate things in gentle, loving ways. My dad sends me news articles he thinks I'll find interesting and asks my opinion on international issues; with The Man (TM), he discusses computer tech and new gadgets; with Little Sis's husband, it's all about fishing and the outdoors. Among other things, my mom sends ideas for family nights and makes sure we have the church resources we need. (And the financial resources; thanks so much, Mother.)
One recent email of hers was addressed: "To my daughters." I was touched to see on it the email addresses of not only me and my little sisters (her daughters by blood) or even us and my brother's current wife (a daughter by marriage), but also the address of my brother's former wife, whom I love more than life itself, or at least more than Rocky Road ice cream. This little reminder brought tears to my eyes as I thought of what most people would do once their former in-law remarries and moves on in life.
I also reflect on how differently many of those in-laws would treat the former spouse's family. But that sister of mine has taken a page (actually, several chapters) out of the book of Ruth. In her interactions with our family, her obvious and deep respect for my parents echo with the words: "Intreat me not to leave thee... the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me." May she be just as blessed as that lady was. I know I am blessed to have her in my life.