As time goes on, my memories of two years ago seem to become both sharper and dull at the same time.
I remember more of what was going on, and that can be hard, but the pain isn't as intense.
One of the things I have been remembering, with a smile, is my "Summerville Family".
My mom's family is from Summerville, SC and like a lot of good southern families there are a lot of them, er, us.
Growing up, thanks to my dad's dark skin and eyes, my brothers (and later, sister) and I stood out like sore thumbs. I think we were literally the only brown-eyed kids in the bunch. Luckily, our blue-eyed cousins (or second cousins, or grand this or thats) forgave us our Upstate ways and we spent our trips to the Lowcountry eating spaghetti, hunting Easter eggs, jumping on trampolines, and playing in cow pastures...you know, normal stuff.
We all got older, some got married, saw each other at various weddings or (sadly) funerals or every other holiday...but the days roaming cow pastures as one happy herd were pretty much over.
And then we lost Rip. And those Summerville people came out of the woodwork.
My cousin Jennifer works in the PICU in the same hospital where Rip was taken after he got sick. Never have I been so glad to look up and see someone. She brought us everything we needed while we were there, including comfort and kind words. She didn't even flinch when my mom forced her to look at my c-section to make sure it wasn't infected...I know she is a nurse and all, but probably not what she was expecting when we were having spend the night parties in our windsuits and perms back in the day.
My cousin Jamie reached out time and time again, letting me know every time she saw a rainbow once I got pregnant with Gracie. She and her husband were the first people to come visit us when Gracie was born, I felt like she deserved part of the credit for getting her here safely.
And that's just two of the twenty or thirty who called, hugged, wrote, prayed and just down right loved us through a terrible time.
That Summerville family, they know how to throw in when it counts. I hope that as we get older, we can show this next generation how important it is to have that kind of family...brown eyes or blue.
Thankful for all of the family who has been there for us these past two years.