This blog is long over due. Interestingly, I have been writing it on and off in my head for many months now. As much as I adore finally having a sister, I really wanted to nail this blog in her honor. Ultimately, when I sit down to my laptop and try to get my creative energies funneled, I come up with a well worded, concise blog about my sister in law to honor her birthday. Here goes:
The end. Good, huh? I thought so, too. But then, anyone familiar with my sister in law’s story will already know this. Being that the point of this blog is largely two fold, (the first being that I want to educate my boys about who they are and where they come from, and the other being to entertain anyone willing to come along for the ride…) I realize that there needs to be more of a explanation here.
Have you ever heard the old adage that God never gives you more than you can handle? Heather’s life exemplifies this notion.
Most of you who follow my blog already know that I am an only child, and my husband has only one sister, who happens to be the focus of this particular blog post. Given that my sister in law is a single lady these days, that equals precisely 1beautiful aunt, 0 uncles, and 3 amazing cousins that make up the extended immediate family for my children. This seems like such a sharp contrast to my own situation. Including my step-family, I have had 8 aunts. Including the “married to my uncle” aunts, (which are VERY much amazing aunts) I have closer to over 2o. If you begin to include the women very close to our mother’s that I have arbitrarily adopted as my aunts, (like Aunt Kayla, Aunt Jerry and Aunt Lulu) this number continues to expand exponentially. Factoring in that nearly all of my aunts and uncles have some children, I have 3 sets of twin cousins and a set of triplet cousins…Well, if we start calculating cousins… oh my, this would be a long blog. Ryan’s situation is no different. Ryan has 4 amazing aunts, 5 including his “married to an uncle” aunts, and enough cousins to fill a small county. And yet somehow, my children have only one aunt. (Though they are blessed with many Great aunts that we also appreciate.) Looking at things from this perspective, and thinking of how my aunts have shaped my own life, it would appear that Aunt Heather would have very large shoes to fill.
You might think that all that pressure on Heather’s shoulders would eventually lead to a backache or bend her to a breaking point, but you would be wrong. (Which gets me back to my original point. Heather is nothing if she is not stoic.) I watch the relationship between her and my boys expectantly, waiting for some signal that my boys lives will be somehow lopsided or some element of their childhood would be missing from my lack of siblings, but there are no signs that she is not strong enough to influence my boys lives in a strong way. My boys both speak of their Aunt Heather with big smiles and swelling hearts. They requested to visit her house first each time we went to Michigan for visitation, and that was in general their top priority all while we were on those vacations. Now that Aunt Heather has moved south, they constantly ask about going to visit her. Aunt Heather creates a situation with her 3 kids and my own 2 kids that they anticipate anxiously each time they know they have an upcoming visit. (How she can manage all 5 kids effortlessly I will never understand. I think it has something to do with the fact that she’s a very capable mother that has ultra well behaved obedient amazing kids herself…)
This is just Heather’s way. The tougher circumstances get, the more poised and enduring she becomes. She can handle her hardships without complaining, and more likely rather than complaining you’d hear her thank you for the opportunity to help. It’s almost as if she is fueled by the challenge to figure out dilemmas. In my entire life, I have never met anyone that confronts a challenge more head on and triumphantly as my sister in law. She is skillful, brilliant, resourceful, creative, inventive, imaginative, determined, articulate, gentle, appropriate, caring and somehow, stoic. More simply put, she is amazing. And we are blessed to have her in our lives. Happy Birthday, sis. Thank you for being the person you are. You are a gift to the world.