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Our Family Is Growing

Posted Jan 18 2012 10:30pm
We are five, five sisters, but we all had our differences in our personalities.  I was the oldest, the strongest, the nurturer, who got her feelings hurt easily but usually was able to cover it up.  Lynda was the emotional one, who couldn’t hide her feelings, and very loving.  Kathy was the quiet one, avoided confrontation, but stubborn in her own way.  Annie was the biggest animal lover, also a nurturer, and with her being the fourth child, was used to being told what to do.  Renee was small for her age, and because of being the youngest, felt that she needed to do more to be seen and heard.  We loved each other unconditionally and accepted our differences, and never gave it much thought.

I was the first to marry, and one by one my other sisters followed suit.  What’s weird is, my mom had a mother’s ring that we had bought her for Mother’s Day, and when I got married my birthstone in her ring fell out, and when my sister Lynda got married shortly after, her birthstone fell out of Mom’s ring.  We thought that was an odd thing to happen twice and always wondered if it was some sort of sign. 

My sister Lynda had the first baby, a boy.  I had three children, a boy and two girls…my pride and joy. J  My sister Kathy had a daughter, Annie had one boy and three girls, and Renee had two girls.  The kids are all amazing extensions of us, extensions of their wonderful Nana.  Our family grew, and life was so much fun having all these little ones in it.
     The age difference from the youngest to the oldest of our children is eighteen years.  Since mine, Lynda’s, and Kathy’s kids are close in age, two girls and two boys, Mom would occasionally take the four of them to spend the night at her house.   They loved going to Nana’s house where they could play with their cousins and have fun.  Mom would get involved and play with them, and take them to McDonalds and to the dollar store to pick out ‘three things’, and then they’d watch movies at night.  Other weekends my youngest daughter and Annie’s oldest daughter, who are the same age, would go to Nana’s house to spend the night together.  They got the same treatment.  It was so much fun for our kids.  My mom loved it, and I loved watching the sweet bond that developed between my mom and my kids.  It was also nice getting a little break when Mom had the kids.    
Mom was a wonderful Nana.  Besides having them over for sleepovers, she would buy her grandchildren toys, coloring books, crayons and puzzles. She would also buy clothes and buy patterns to make them cute little outfits, Halloween costumes, and stuffed animals.  She crocheted blankets for them and did patchwork quilts, too.   She did so much for our kids, just like she did for us girls. 
Mom eventually remarried about nineteen years after she and Dad divorced.  For years I would pray every night that Mom would find a man to marry.  I remembered what she told me when I was a child, that she wanted a man to love her. I felt guilty for being mean to some of the men she dated when we were kids because I didn't want anyone to take the place of my dad. Well, she finally found a great guy and they were married.  She retired from her work, and he retired shortly after, and they lived on a nice pension.  Everything was grand for a good while after that.
Our extended family would get together for everyone’s birthdays, holidays, picnics, lunches, and whatever else we came up with in between.  Our husbands would say the Carver girls will find a reason to get together if there isn’t a reason to.  For birthdays, we generally went to each other’s houses.  My sisters and I bought presents for each other and we bought presents for each other’s kids. 
Mom always got a ton of presents, and over many years, her house became more full…full of knick-knacks filling every shelf , full of clothes stuffed in the closets and dressers, full of framed family photos and wall hanging with special poems, and full of fancy dinnerware, cookie jars, and other kitchen items.  Occasionally, we pooled our money and bought her something big, like a computer and printer.
Mom loved getting on her computer.  She would do research on topics of interest, send out emails, and she even got herself a digital camera and would upload and print out pictures.
Even though we had our own families, we still spent a lot of time with Mom.  Her husband Bob, just put up with all those kids and grandkids.  He had five kids of his own, too, but they didn't come around much.  I would go to their house probably three times a week just to hang out.  My other sisters did, too.  Renee didn’t live in town but she would try to come home about two to three times a year.  We would also travel to see Renee whenever we could.  Sometimes we would meet half way, and we would stay in a hotel and have a slumber party…just Mom and us girls.  Or we’d stay in a hotel in Chicago and go shopping.  We always did stuff together.  Those were good times and I miss all of that very much. 
Please stay tuned, everything starts to change…   
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