|This is one of my favorite pictures of my siblings--EXCEPT it is missing my brother Brett!|
I was blessed enough to be invited to Women's Conference by my dear friend. My friend Amy lives across the street. We have kids roughly the same ages. She is an amazing woman is is always looking for a blessing to be in others lives. You always feel loved and accepted in Amy's presence.
Amy goes to women's conference every year with her sister-in-laws. Amy's husband comes from a family of 7. They have 4 girls and 3 boys--exact opposite of my family. One of his sisters also lives in the ward. Actually she has been in the ward longer and also use to live across the street in the same house. Diana (the sister) has been a dear friend for years and years. I had met the other sisters in passing at a couple of events, but honestly I couldn't really keep them all straight!
Although I wasn't sure at first if I wanted to come along as the 5th wheel (or 9th as the case was,) I really wanted to go to women's conference. So I accepted Amy's offer to travel, bunk, dine, and be inspired with this group of women.
Also the opposite of me is the fact that all of the kids in this family live here in Utah. Not only that, they all live in the suburbs of Salt Lake City. The sisters and sister-in-laws get together EVERY WEEK!! The whole family gets together often. The cousins are best friends. Through thick and thin, they are together. It just kind of hit me when someone we were talking to asked Susan (the mother-in-law) if all of these women belonged to her. She explained that I was a friend but the rest were daughter, in-laws and one granddaughter-in-law. When she told her new friend how close they all lived, the other women were so impressed with her good fortune. So was I.
I realized that location made it easier for them to all stay close. Yet, I come from a family with AMAZING people. I am really a bad sister. I haven't known about my own nieces baptisms. I haven't kept track of the happenings in my own siblings lives.
I honestly often feel like an outsider in my own family. It isn't my siblings fault. It is mine. I have put myself on the outside. I have seperated myself from my family that I love because it has been too hard to pick up a phone.
I long for it to be different. I wish it was. I gained such a huge testimony of the blessing of family. I enjoyed being with my friend's family, I loved watching them laugh together. I loved the unconditional love they have for each other. No one seemed embarrassed to say or do something (believe me--all inhibitions were GONE!)