Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blessing #5: My Family

I grew up in what would probably be considered the epitome of a dysfunctional family. I was only five years old when my mother abandoned our family. Just two years later, my father passed away. My brother, sisters and I bounced around between living with my paternal grandmother, Nonnie, and our aunt and uncle Pat and Bobby. My sisters and I eventually landed at a home for orphaned, neglected and unwanted children...the South Texas Children's Home (which will be on this list of blessings as well.) Needless to say, we did not live the Norman Rockwell life. There were no picturesque holiday dinners with an aproned mom and a jovial father seated at the head of the table. There was no playing football in the backyard on a crisp, fall day. We were poor. We lived in a government housing project. We lived off food stamps. And that's who we were in our tiny little south Texas town. I remember growing up thinking we were unimportant, unspectacular. We were the forgettable family. But as we've grown older, each of us stopped believing that lie. Not all at the same time. Some struggled more than others. My older sister Beverly has perhaps had the hardest life of all of us. But to see her today--she's proud. She's gracious. She's a beautiful person. She is so softspoken and honest. And I love that about her. Gigi has always been strong-willed. The go-getter of the family. And that hasn't changed about her at all. She lives and works in Corpus Christi, Texas. She has two gorgeous teenage girls--Gianna and Cheyenne--who both have her amazing smile. I am so incredibly proud of Christi. She has been a single mom for most of her adult life. And she's done an amazing job of it. Somehow working to support three kids on her own. One just needs to spend a few minutes with Grey, Shayne or Christian to see what a great job she has done as a parent. They are good kids. Beautiful kids. And Gary is living and working in New Braunfels. He's probably the most talented of us siblings. You should hear this guy sing country music. Holy cow. His band, Gary Glenn and the 20x Live Band has a strong following throughout central and south Texas. Gary has always been the most confident of us Glenn kids. Perhaps because he was too young to know our parents. Maybe he never really felt the loss--and therefore didn't let it affect who he was. He and Nonnie were so close. Oh how she loved him. He's married to his beautiful wife, Stacey. And I'm so proud to be his brother. Nonnie left this world ten years ago. In the arms of her maker. Pat and Bobby are still plugging along in Three Rivers. I owe so much to all three of them. Don't even want to wonder where I'd be, had they all three not decided to take on troubled kids that weren't there own. We don't talk nearly enough. But this is my family. And I love every one of them. They are a blessing. And I'm sorry I don't say it nearly enough.

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