These are the names of the kids in my family: Katharine, Micah, Steven, Crystal, James, Garrett, Haylee.
What this means is that I am the oldest of seven kids. Some of us share a mom, some a dad, some are related to me because my dad fell in love with their mom. All of them I love very deeply. You see that last name, she’s the baby one and she is getting married on Saturday.
I was 13 when she arrived here and by the time I was almost 15 I had a job so I could help keep shoes and coats on her. People don’t really remember the first 5 ish years of their lives, so I don’t know how much she knows. But I was a teenager and you rarely forget what goes on in your teen years. If you could read my journal during those years you would find pages and pages of prayers for her-often for her spouse. It would be embarrassing for me to tell you how fervently I prayed for her future. I am so proud of her, so very proud of the man she chose to be her groom.
With the wedding coming up, and Josh and I thinking about growing a family I have been thinking a lot about my grandmas and wishing they were here. Grana is my Dad’s mom, she would love to watch this little lady walk down the aisle and marry such a nice man. I spent every summer that I can remember with her in Oregon living at her house on the Coast. She taught me to make pies, and grow food and flowers, and sew. She painted me with calamine lotion when I had the chicken pox, and she took me to the sea lion caves.
My mom’s mom Katharine was the embodiment of free spirited living and creativity. She was very involved in my upbringing as well. She once killed a snake on the front porch and skinned it for crafts, and she taught me to make flower chains and spaghetti sauce. I wish I could have her list of home remedies for all the ailments of pregnancy, call her for advice when the baby won’t stop crying. She knew all the things.
I feel like I know them as characters because they died when I was too young to see them as individuals. I have lots of questions about their personalities, about our family history, and about what it was like for them to be a parent. I don’t know if this is true but I think they are proud of us kids-that somehow they will be there this weekend as we celebrate growing our family by adding Zachary. Haylee is getting married a the beach where both grandma’s had their farewell service; the beach we spent Easter at, and random Wednesdays in August, and heartfelt family talks while walking the shoreline.
I am very contemplative as of late, really digging my roots up. I’ve been looking thru old photos and thinking about how much of themselves these women gave us. Hoping I can do the same, hoping Haylee feels the strength of all of us behind her as she makes this commitment. Hoping my kids know their grandmas as fixtures in our family. Guys I guess I’m just waking up early and staying up late Hoping. Do you ever just do that? Hope as a verb?
PS. huge points if you know the song this title is the lyric from. This song was my prayer for my sisters for a long time.