My Dad always said to his three girls growing up that “Your friends will come and go, but your sisters will always be your sisters because your family is forever.” And then it was usually followed by something like, “So get along,” because he always told it to us when we were fighting. I remember rolling my eyes and thinking he didn’t know what he was talking about, but then I grew up and realized that he knew exactly what he was talking about and that it was absolutely and completely true.
About a month and a half ago, I had the privilege of meeting Sally’s sister Christine. Back then, there were so many unknowns and in between taking turns going in to see Michael during a pretty critical stage, we had little bits of time to talk in the waiting room. It was here that we met Aunt Christine and cousin Willie who had come all the way up from Virginia to be there for their family. I remember going in to see Michael and Sally while they were here. And Sally told me how much she appreciated Christine being there and how Christine always knew how to be there for Sally in just the right way.
We also met cousin Willie, but had definitely heard about him through the years from stories that Michael had shared. Michael told us how he always enjoyed going down to Virginia to visit his family and to hang out with his cousin Willie. And even today in that same waiting room, I saw pictures of them when they were little and even then you could see that they had a strong family bond even in those early years.
Being someone who lives far away from her family, I can completely understand how important the times that you do get with family are. Sally told me today that Michael and Willie were always able to just pick up where they left off whenever they would get to spend time together. It’s some sort of far-away cousins gift, I think. It’s like you don’t have to bother with the little issues that families have that live near each other because you know in your heart that you have to make the most of the time that you do get to have since it doesn’t happen all that often. And I suppose, because your family really is your family forever, no matter how much or how little time you get to spend with them.
I also should mention that these wonderful pictures were from a family trip to the Bahamas as few years ago when Michael and Sally were able to go and meet up with Aunt Christine and Willie.
And I write all this to say that we were so happy when we went to visit Michael today, because looking into the waiting room, we were greeted once again by Aunt Christine and cousin Willie. It was so, so good to see them both and to know that they were able to come up again to be there for Michael, Sally and the family. I think that being surrounded by family and friends is strengthening for Michael and so it makes me really happy to know that he will get to have this time this weekend with his extended family.
In thinking of family tonight, I searched for and found this verse in 1 Corinthians 16:14. It simply says, “Do everything in love.” And I think that the best families and the most successful and loving ones, are the ones who do just this. Granted, it’s not an easy task. And it’s something that requires work every day. But when families are able to work to do everything in love, God will bless that effort and they will thrive. I know that Aunt Christine and Willie traveling up to see Michael was an act of love and one that means so much to Michael and his family as they are going through so much.
Speaking of Michael, today we really enjoyed a longer visit with his family in the waiting room, but also enjoyed the time that we were able to go and see him. He looked good, and was not storming when we saw him. He is still on some stronger medication, and since being on it hasn’t open his eyes quite as much but it’s okay and we hope that as he progresses he will be able to respond more with this again soon. He did hold my hand and move his arms a bit through our visit, so that was good to see.
Prayers for tonight, would just include healing and strength. Michael will have an upcoming surgery possibly this coming week to place the shunt, so we just pray that God will work out the best timing for that to happen. And I also thought we could pray for this time that Michael has with Aunt Christine and Willie and just that it would be a great weekend for them all.