This I Believe

Mary - Occoquan, Virginia
Entered on May 10, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: family
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This I Believe

It’s all about family. Whatever strengths I possess, the values I hold, the lessons I’ve

learned have come from the constant and continuing love of my family. Being the

seventh of eight children is, in itself, a lesson in tolerance. The diversity within our

genetic circle is amazing. Dan’s brilliance, Pat’s creativity, Tom’s humor all opened

windows to the world for me that continue to be a source of wonder and awe. Cathy’s

painful shyness, Mike’s dyslexia and Terry’s constant battle with epilepsy taught me

truths about courage and some important lessons about the inequities of life. Through the

inevitable chaos of life in a big and boisterous family was Helene’s serenity. My

siblings. I love them all. They love me. We are not demonstrative people – few hugs,

fewer kisses – but we are always and have always been “there” for one another.

Time and the tides wait for no woman. And so, we have moved on. Half of us no longer

inhabit this physical world. I carry them with me always in my mind and in my heart.

But, I’m greedy. I crave that which was so freely given to me as a child. And so, I create

families wherever I go. I just got back from visiting my Hawaiian brother and sister. I’ll

see my Asheville sisters later this month. My Poughkeepsie sister is struggling with her

chemotherapy and so I ask your prayers for her. One of my Virginia sisters always greets

me with “Hello, family.” I like to think of her as my twin sister. She is black, tips the

scales at 250+, shaves her head and wears more jewelry on any given day than I own.

But she is funny, insightful, outrageous and loving. I want to be like her when I grow up.

Wherever I go, wherever I live, I find me some sibs. These are folk who accept me as I

am; troubled, troubling, insecure, dogmatic, questioning, irreverent, mischievous, hard

working, soft hearted, hard headed – and they love me anyhow! I have some sibs in this

very group. I may move. They may move. But, they can’t get away. Sisterhood is

forever! Even without physical contact I spend time with my sibs every day. Some may

call me crazy – actually, my baby brother does call me that – but, I call myself lucky.

It is all about family. This I truly believe.