I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the meaning of family? There are many ways to describe family. What comes to mind first are blood relatives, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and all the extended family. There are times when people who are not blood relatives are family. It’s untraditional, but family nonetheless. My mom wasn’t raised by her parents, but by her widowed grandmother. She never knew her own mother. When we were young she became close to a woman in our ward who lived the next street over. This woman had moved here with her husband and kids from Holland. She had family, but they were still back in Holland. Mom and Ann created a “family unit” that was closer than blood ties at times. I often think it was their way of making a family to take the place of a void in their lives. I found a few pictures from Facebook for this post. This picture shows my parents in the middle, my grandparents on the left (my dad’s parents), and Ann and Walt on the right. This picture is so special to me because it shows my heritage, my family.
We were close with their 2 youngest children, Lavada and Ken, who were still at home.
(Nann getting birthday spankings)
(Ken and Bryan)
(Camping trip to Fallen Leaf Lake)
(Walt, Kathy, and Kyle)
(Walt and Dena "making a picture")
A few weeks ago Lavada, came for a visit. It was fun to sit back in my parent’s house and hear everyone reminiscing about the good times we had. Even though our lives are full with our own children and grandchildren now, we are still family. I feel like I am who I am because of the foundation that was formed years ago between our two families. I feel a connection with their Dutch heritage through their stories of Holland and how they lived through the war. They taught me to love salt licorice and Dutch pastries. Even though Ann and Walt have been gone for many years now, I still hold them close in my heart