Cathy, here’s what I want you to remember, he said looking me dead in the eye, this man I love so dearly, this man I respect beyond measure.
There are all kinds of families.
I remember it like it was yesterday, this comment I have carried with me for 18 years, a sentiment I have taken to heart. A perspective that—no exaggeration—changed every aspect of my life.
(Do you know this to be true? Can you take a moment right here, right now, to let the power of this reality—there are all kinds of families—into your heart?)
It was proven true once again last week when we celebrated the life and the incomparable spirit of his wife of 63 years, my first mother-in-law, my daughter’s grandmother, a woman who lived life with such authenticity I never spent a moment (even as a new, young bride) nervous or uncomfortable or questioning. She was that gracious. She was that accepting.
No wonder her nickname was Ease.
Let’s drive home the back way, I said to Tim, my husband of ten years, a man my “former” in-laws and extended relations welcomed into their family as if it were the most natural thing in the world. We were pulling away from the church after her funeral, a service during which I counted ten thousand blessings, all attributed to her.
And there it was. Literally, a sign.
I jumped out to take the photo, offering a little prayer for Ease, for open hearts, for love. Then I looked down.
My first feather find in weeks. And a double dose, at that, as if to guarantee I got the message.
There are all kinds of families, Ed said, and I know it is true. How grateful I am to be a part of this one.