Sometimes things don't always go quite as you expect. Sometimes the people you call family aren't even really your family at all. I grew up hearing that second statement. The common phrase is "You can choose your friends but you can't choose your family" but I would really have to differ. My whole life the people who I called "Grandma" and "grandpa" and "aunt" and "uncle" and who took me into their homes, and made sure we had enough food and who made me laugh and watched videos with me weren't always my blood family. They were my mom's best friends who loved her and considered her a daughter of their own.
I grew up hearing stories about how Grandma Schmidt fed my mom through Grad School. How all my mom ever had in her fridge was a bottle of ketchup and a bottle of mustard til it was Sunday dinner at the Schmidt's. Grandma Schmidt made sure that allllll the leftovers were sent home with my mom in Grad School so she could eat. Many years later when my parents divorced and my Dad left she was again feeding our family. All of the leftovers suddenly were "too much for just the 2 of us!" and "oh we would never eat this!" so that we could take it all home without feeling bad.
It never mattered to her that we weren't really her grandkids. Every time we saw her it was "hiiiiiiiii" and a hug and a kiss. She never let anyone treat us differently, like we weren't a part of the family. We were. She said so.
And then it's all gone. One strange phone call where my little sister has her serious voice on and it's not a joke. Sometimes I forget to be thankful for the people that have touched my life and the lives of those closest to me. What would things have been like if my mom had never meet Aunt Cookie? If we'd never known Grandma Schmidt? How much I wish that I had said something about love. About Jesus. About a Savior who loves us so so much that he gave his whole life for us. What if? It's a question that I fear will be haunting me until God gets ahold of me and takes away the fear. I loved Grandma Schmidt. And now my mind is like a movie reel where all the images are wonderful memories of her touching my life. And then there are tears. And to think I've always considered myself not really a crier. Ha. I guess things change.
I love you Grandma Schmidt. And to Aunt Cookie and the whole family I am praying for you all so hard and I hope God can bring you a Peace that Surpasses Understanding.