I’m so, so thankful for my family. It hasn’t always been easy and it hasn’t always been fun, but when I look back at our experiences (separately and as a unit), we’ve done OK keeping ourselves “together”.
Mom (my BFF)
Mom raised three of us kids very much alone in the early years. That’s one set of twins and a third right behind us. She sacrificed so much during those years to make sure she gave us everything we needed – love, devotion, respect, humor, and music. I could write a book on the countless things she’s done for us and with us. She truly is my BFF and my hero.
Talk about teaching by demonstration….Mom always wanted to run; so she did. She’s the one who got my husband and me engaged in this new, fit lifestyle. I used to go watch her run 5K road races and wish I could do that. Mom always wanted to be an RN; so she did. And she did this much later in life, when many start thinking about winding down or retiring. Every day she helps people feel a little bit better, even through painful treatments, with her nurturing ways. I could never do what she does. The world needs more people like her.
Tim (my twin – aka my little brother)
Tim is my twin brother. We were born 6 minutes apart in the 1960’s, when twins were far less common. I fondly tease him every chance I get that he’s my LITTLE brother because I am 6 whole minutes older. I mean, that’s like a lifetime, right?
More than just being a twin, he’s a very loyal and devoted person. He and his wife Dianna started a family that grew, and grew, and grew, and grew. Today, they have six beautiful daughters who are adorable, loving (to others and each other), fun, courteous, polite, and grateful. I’ve always been so impressed with the father figure that’s developed so well in my brother. He is quiet by nature, but even in the most stressful times, he has maintained an even demeanor that I see reflected in his children. Oh, those kids can be loud, but it’s always in the form of laughter (giggles mainly). Anytime I have sad moments about not having children of my own, I just take in his family vibe for myself. Scott and I try to grab at least half of the six-pack (the girls’ collective nickname) during the summer and get a healthy infusion of them. We haven’t been able to coordinate it during the last 2 summers, but I’m hoping to reinstate our little tradition.
Scott (my actual younger brother)
Scott is two years younger than Tim and me. As a typical younger brother, he had to keep up and often did. Today, he is the most amazing guitarist I’ve ever heard. The music runs through his veins and he has made it his career to write, perform, and teach music to anyone who has even a fraction of his passion. Even more importantly, Scott wins people over with a simple 'hello'. During an interview with our local cable station a couple years back, I was in awe at how calm and sure of himself he appeared, yet never cocky. I guess it’s a no brainer; when you love what you do and you get to talk about it, you exude all of the love you have for the topic. In fact, here is a sample of his very own "The Road We Know". I hope you enjoy it!
Scott has a son and daughter and all live fairly close, which is nice. His son is like a mini-Scott and his daughter is an A student. Scott’s always helping someone and is always trading a service for another (ok, keep your minds clean folks) – such as trading a guitar lesson for repairs/parts for his bike. I’m proud and envious that he does what he loves everyday.
I've often said that we should’ve been another “Partridge Family” because music is such an important part of our lives. We’ve always known music in our house. We grew up with Mom playing her guitar and singing. Tim and Scott both play guitar (all 3 can seemingly pick up any instrument and figure it out – piano, violin – super jealous). My instrument is my voice – I love to sing. In fact, Tim and I had a band in high school and had so much fun with it. I learned to let go of my shyness and sing in public, and Tim and I have those memories for a lifetime.
|Tim on the left, our friend Neil in the middle, and yep, that's me belting out some Pat Benatar!|
Families aren't easy, but they're all we've got if we're lucky enough. And I'm extra lucky to have a close relationship with Scott's family too. My mother-in-law used to say to me, "You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your relatives" and I'm totally OK with that. In fact, I'm more than OK with that. Because the road we know is one paved with the love and memories of family.