I did a little search on the 'net for phrases and quotes, & found a few good ones.
If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning 'Good morning' at total strangers.
The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life.
Good family life is never an accident but always an achievement by those who share it.
--James H S Bossard
When I talk about "family" I freely admit that first to my mind is my side of the family, i.e., my folks and my siblings and their spouses and my nieces and nephews. We live closer to them, and basically, we are closer to them, more like them than we are my husband's side of the family. I recently said that we have a great family, and I was talking about my side of the family. And Kev is well and truly part of the family. I feel that he is more like my side than his side. For a lot of reasons, all good. Not that his family is not good, just different. Town dwellers mostly, for one. Big time smokers and drinkers for another. Not that we don't enjoy getting good and sloshed now and then, coz we sure do.
On Kev's side are his dad and step-mother and a half-brother (same dad) locally. And tons and tons of aunts, uncles and cousins on his dad's side. He has a sister, brother-in-law and 2 nieces that live in Nevada, who we saw this past week because they were in town for a rare visit. And most definitely the inspiration for this post.
Last time we heard from his sister was about 2 years ago or more. She called and I answered the phone upstairs. She wanted to speak with Kev (er... not me), and during the switch from the phone in my hand to the one Kev picked up, we disconnected her. It was a new phone and he hit the off button instead of the talk button, and I clicked off thinking he was connected. We didn't have her recent phone number and she never called back. This week was the first he has spoken to her since that time. She does keep in touch with their dad. It's odd. We used to send Christmas gifts and cards, but quite a few years ago, she stopped. Took me a couple of years, but then I stopped, too. Kevin and his sister will never be close. They're just too different from one another. She's more like her mother in some ways, though she seems to have a great relationship with her 2 teenage daughters, both of whom seem very nice young women. But she is somewhat like her mom, in a way I find I can't describe. Kevin's mother I can describe. She's awful. Which brings me to my most favorite quote I found today:
Having children makes you no more a parent than having a piano makes you a pianist.
No truer words on parenthood were ever uttered. Kev's mother is awful. Oh, I said that already, didn't I. Anyway, it's worth repeating.
Last time Kev spoke with his mother was when Sam was born, around early November of 1994 and shortly after. We sent photos and then Christmas gifts, and left messages on her answering machine. She never responded. For a reason or reasons we apparently are never meant to know, she decided to cut him out of her life. How a mother with a son as utterly good and fine as Kevin could make that decision is so far beyond my realm of understanding as to make it completely and absolutely incomprehensible.
Not only that, she simultaneously cut out of her life her beautiful, wonderful 6-year-old granddaughter and newborn grandson.
Like I said, she is awful. Her abandonment of the relationship with us early on caused Joycie some concern, but she did eventually quit asking why gramma from Arizona doesn't like her anymore. We have since had very frank discussions about it. Should the woman ever reach out to us, well, I'd rather cut off her hand than have it ever touch my family again and cause such hurt. And we don't miss her. Kev says she was difficult all his life, and sadly, good riddance. Our kids have 2 sets of loving grandparents, and that's more than a lot of kids get. She's left no big hole in our lives. I am just vindictive enough to want her to know that.
His sister still has contact with their mother. Not one word about their mother was mentioned during the visit this week. Not. One. Word.
Kev and his sister also have a half-brother (they share the mother), and he has a son. They both were living in Arizona, near their mother, last we knew. I suppose due to that proximity, the half-brother must have sided with the mother because we never hear from him, either. We have never met Kevin's nephew, but not by our choice.
That's why I say Kev is more like my side of the family. There's nothing in the world you can do - ever - to be cut out of my family. Oh, you could do some rotten stuff that would bring wrath and a good chewin' out down on your head, but you would never, ever be outside of the family. And you wouldn't want to be there, anyway, because in our family, you always have someone that loves you. No matter what.