Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Visit

We are having special visitors this week.  I'm quite excited!  We've planned this for a while, and now they're here.  Okay, they wore themselves out from travel yesterday... but they're in town and they'll be here soon.

These two are Nanny's sisters.  My dear, beloved Nanny's baby sisters.  And I've always loved them to pieces, even as a little girl.

On the left is Nanny, the girl looking down is Dixie, and the one with short hair to the right of Dixie is Gladys Mae.  And that's my Mama sitting in Gladys Mae's lap.  

They were so close.  Nanny was nine years older than Gladys Mae, I think... which makes her ten or eleven years Dixie's senior.  She and Grandad would often take them for a while in the summer, and they'd go pretty much wherever the family went.  One of them even got to carry my Mom out of the hospital when she was born! 

These ladies were part of the happiest parts of my childhood.  I looked forward to time with them like other kids looked forward to amusement parks.  Call me weird, that's how it was.  They were and are silly, fun, and kind.  And they were Granny's girls.  

They always made me feel heard and relevant.  I never said anything stupid.  Maybe funny, maybe something that needed clarification, but not stupid.  My likes, wants, and dreams were valid to them.  And I just thought they were super cool. 

And now, the sweet ladies that made me feel so worth-it, so special, are here.  They're smiling at my kids, laughing with us, and helping hand down the family tradition of spending most of the day and sharing our lives around the kitchen table. 

My great-aunts drove from as far as western Oklahoma to be here with their niece, great-neice, and great-great-niece and great-great-nephews for a couple of days.  

Neither of them are the least bit jaded by the different-ness, either.  They have no background in education, special education, or autism itself, and yet they love us enough to just jump in and hang out here for a few days.  To do what we do just to be with us... and I do hope they know they're blessing us.  

As we were getting out of baths last night, Ryan came out in his oversized, dear purple sleep shirt and mismatched red shorts.  I wasn't in the kitchen, I was still in the bathroom helping the littles.  Throughout the day, I tried to prepare him.  I would take one of his marker boards and write messages like "Gladys Mae and Dixie are coming" and "Gladys Mae and Dixie love Ryan, Richie, and Mae-mae" hoping it would help a little.  He read them... I know, because he did so aloud.  

It helped.  Or maybe he just knew.  Because right as he came in the kitchen, the hugged and kissed both of my dear great-aunts, who he hardly ever sees, and told them good night.  

Call it routine to tell everyone good night.  Call it a family thing.  Call it what you want.  But I call it a precious, sweet, silent understanding that God has used these ladies throughout his mama's life in big ways, as well as a knowledge that they love and accept him for who God made him, too.

The longer I live, the more grateful I am for this dear family.

Thanks be to God for this amazing couple of days with these amazing ladies! 

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