I have to admit I have been remiss in not mentioning my
great extended family.
On both my maternal and paternal sides, I have very nice cousins. I also have
very kind aunts and uncles. My dad’s sisters, for example, are ever-present.
My mother’s younger sister has been more of an encouragement to me than I can
begin to describe. She was sidelined for much of her adulthood, but she still
managed to bring up two children, travel the world and get her doctorate. Oh,
and I almost forgot to mention how all that happened during a long career. I
think it was made possible, in part, because she had the emotional support of
her husband. Sound familiar?
When I was in Nebraska, I felt scared and alone. But I felt less alone because
she was there a lot. We planted coleus, watched silly movies and had storytimes
about my mother when she was young. Back inKansas, she continued to visit. The staff at the nursing home and the
computer I had borrowed knew her name.
Now, she is a grandmother and my aforementioned wonderful
uncle is battling cancer.
I guess what I’m saying is I am extremely fortunate to have an amazing family.
I took that fact for granted for much of my life. Because I lacked a
grandfather on my paternal side (he died before I was born) and my mother’s
mother died young, I felt cheated. Also, I was never close to my mother’s dad. But
all this doesn’t matter. I feel close to all of them now.
Chair update: As it turns out, I need to
go back to the doctor before I get my power wheelchair. Next up will be more
My mother, standing right, and her siblings at their Springfield home in the early 1950s.