How Sweet It Is To Be Loved…

Don’t you just love how there is at least one song for every possible situation in life–and you usually don’t have to search long to find it, thanks to Google.  Recently, I was making (another) video montage of our family.  This one in honor of Valentine’s Day!  I didn’t have to think very long before I thought of the perfect theme song for it–which also happens to be the title of this post!

As I was creating my video montage, I began to ponder, Is there anything sweeter in  life than loving and being loved?  I didn’t have to ponder long before I knew my answer…  I wouldn’t trade having all the gold and riches in the world for the honor of loving and being loved!

I still remember how I felt, all those years ago, when Ed and I met and fell in love.  We may be older, with a lot of miles on us, but our love for each other is just as strong and true as it was forty-two years ago!  In addition, the truly amazing thing is, who knew that forty-something years later, we’d be surrounded by so many loved ones who have made our lives so much sweeter over the years?

Six years after our marriage, Ed and I were blessed with a new love–in the form of an eight pound baby daughter.  We loved her and nurtured her, and she in turn, loved us back.  Over the next seven years, Ed and I were blessed with two more bundles of love, otherwise known as our sons.  With those three wonderful additions, Ed and I became so much more than just husband and wife–we became a family!

We all lived happily together in our little circle of family  love, until one day Ed and I blinked our eyes, and discovered that our children had grown up!  Before long, Ed was walking our daughter down the aisle, and giving her away to another man.  But we didn’t lose our daughter, we gained another son, in the form of a “son-in-law”.

With that wedding, we learned how to open our family circle of love, and include others.  Over the next ten years, Ed would make two more trips down the aisle, to serve as Best Man at both of our son’s weddings.  Twice more, our family circle opened wider to include new daughters.

For a long time, Ed and I had no idea that the sweetest additions were yet to arrive in our family.  You know, those little bundles of joy that you can love, spoil rotten, then send home with their parents–otherwise known as grandchildren!  We opened our family circle just a little bit wider, and it didn’t take us long to figure out that we loved being grandparents!  Our first grandchild arrived just over five years ago, with two more following!

For now, our circle of love has been enlarged by three  precious grandchildren–one girl, and two little boys.  Just the same as it was so many years ago when Ed and I were raising our little family!  Each addition to our family has been a blessing, and we treasure them all, whether they married into or were born into our family.

How sweet it is to love and be loved!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Photobucket

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Published in: on February 14, 2012 at 12:03 am  Comments (11)  
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Flashback Friday…Family Structure

It’s Friday…time to join Linda for another “flashback”–and time to join Java for her “Bloggers 40 and Over”!  The overall theme for today’s flashback is family structure and related things.

My parents had their fair share of problems, but they loved each other.  My father loved my mother deeply and unconditionally–and at times she was a tough person to love.  (I suppose that can be said for all of us at one time or another.)  The two were married just shy of forty-seven years when my daddy passed away.

With the exception of a couple of months one Christmas, my mother didn’t work outside the home until I was ten or eleven years old.  At that time she took a job working in a local sewing factory, where she worked until after I married and left home, about seven years later.  My mother used her income to pay off some accumulated bills, and have a few extras.

Once my mother went to work, my daddy began to pitch in and help with the household chores.  He worked an early shift as a prison guard, so he was home every day at 1:30.  He would take a little nap each day, then he’d  cook supper, and have it ready when mama got home from work.  We’d eat supper, then I had to clean up the kitchen–a chore I never looked forward to!

I didn’t have many household chores during the school year, except cleaning up the kitchen after meals, and keeping my room cleaned.  During summer, however, I was expected to help keep the entire house cleaned.  I didn’t like to cook, but I loved to bake.  I limited my cooking to making desserts and spaghetti.  I took my lunch to school every day, and I was responsible for making that.  I hung out clothes, took them in(no clothes dryer), and folded them.  I didn’t use the washing machine much, though.  My  parents did all of the clothes washing.

I got a job during my junior year of high school, and I continued working until just before my high school graduation.  I used my wages to buy my own school clothes, and purchase items for my “hope chest”.  By the time I got married, I had almost everything that we needed for our home–dishes, pots, linens, etc.  I didn’t even have a bridal shower, because I didn’t need one.

Daddy could do a few things around the house–like painting or minor repairs, but if the repair was very extensive, he called for backup.  My husband, on the other hand, is a “do-it-yourself man”.  There is no job too huge for him to tackle!  He’s built two houses–the last one “from the ground up”–including doing all of the wiring, and plumbing!  He’s a “self-taught” man.  He’s not quite so handy when it comes to car repairs, however.  Nine times out of ten, he has to pay someone to repair our vehicles when they tear up.

Just like our parents, my husband and I pride ourselves on maintaining a long, happy marriage.  We believe in the phrase, “till death us do part”.  Our children were raised with this philosophy.  Maintaining a happy marriage takes a lot of effort–from both parties–but it’s so worth the effort!

I was a stay-at-home mom until the last of our three children started to school–fourteen years after marriage.  At that time, I decided to take a job to supplement my husband’s income.  I didn’t have to work, but my income provided things that our family wouldn’t have had otherwise–usually a new vehicle, extras for the kids,  or tuition to private school for our kids.

an older photograph of our family

We required our children to clean up the kitchen after meals–just like we had to do–and to keep their rooms cleaned.  As they grew older, sometimes we asked them to do other chores as well.  Most of the time, it was easier to do it ourselves than to argue with them to get things done.  That’s one thing I’d change if I could–require them to do more chores!  (I wanted them to enjoy their childhood, so I took it easy on them.)  They think they had to do a lot, but really they didn’t.  Our youngest children–both sons–hate to do chores to this day!!!  The oldest son will hire things done rather than having to do it himself.  The youngest son can do most anything–just like his dad–but he lacks motivation much of the time.

We didn’t require our daughter to work until she completed high school, because she helped me by taking the boys to school, and picking them up from ball practices.  As soon as she graduated from high school, she got her first job at a video store.  Fortunately, she did’t have to work there very long, before something with better hours came along.

Both of our sons held jobs at various times while living at home, to help earn their spending money.  The oldest son helped our neighbor work in tobacco during the summer, until he was older then he got a job working on the hospital switchboard on weekends.  Our youngest son began working an internship at a local bank when he was sixteen, and worked there his last two years of high school, and most of college.

our oldest children with their families

Times are changing every day–and sometimes I worry about the direction this old world is headed in.  It will be interesting to see how life progresses with our grandchildren.  Perhaps our own children have learned new things since their upbringing, and will do an even better job in raising their children than we did raising them…My advice to them–bring up your family in the church, “one spanking is worth a dozen “time outs”, and don’t go so easy on those chores!

Published in: on October 22, 2010 at 8:46 am  Comments (8)  
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