The news of Granny Baer's passing has caused me to pause and reflect on the real blessings in my life. I don't expect everyone, or anyone for that matter, to understand the functional, dysfunctional family and life I live, but it's what has worked for me and my kids.
When I divorced, I broke marital ties with the man – I didn't break ties with his family. That somewhat set the pattern for what my life would become.
I believe with all my heart that people come into our lives and FIT for a reason – some remain for a short while, and some remain for a lifetime.
Blessings in the Human Form
Today my mind and heart are full of all the blessings that have come into my life in human form. It's a shame that it took the death of a great woman to stir such a reflection – still, it feels like one of the best ways I could ever pay tribute to such a wonderful woman.
I remember a certain conversation I had with Granny, prior to my divorce where she said “when you divorce a Baer, you divorce the whole family.” She wasn't speaking about ME, but of someone else in the family. Ironically, the woman was so loved, that she could never abide by those words and God obviously had other plans.
There’s Nothing EX About Real Family & Friends
My ex-husbands family has been so supportive of me and my boys over the years – they have loved us and have always been a part of the important occasions that would occur. Gus (my husband) never quite understood the whole dynamic UNTIL he experienced it himself the day the boys graduated.
We had an open house to celebrate the boys and my stepdaughter's graduation. The ex-family came in droves. Our house was full of so much, undeniable love that he was left in complete awe. Before the ex-family left, many of them complimented me on our home, on the man I had married. They hugged me and told me they loved me and were proud of me – and I knew they meant it! It was as if, that day, they adopted my husband too. He’s kinda hooked on that love feeling now!
You see, that's one thing about the Baer family – they GET IT! They get that blood and marriage does not make a family.
Sadly, I see families fall apart, go months and years without speaking. Many people call that “normal” I just call that SAD.
My EXtra Special Friends List
When I look over my Facebook friends list, I see a collection of amazing people who are labeled by the term EX – but just because they were a former “relative” does not mean they are not my family and that I should EVER stop loving them. God put them in my life for a reason and they are too precious to me to be discarded because they could not make a formal relationship work with me, my kids or any member of my family.
For an average person to look at my friends list or my phone contact list, they would think I was insane – I have a collection of ex-girlfriends and parents of my kids – I have an ex-husband, his ex-wife and an ex-girlfriend. I have ex-cousins, aunts, uncles and an ex-sister-in-law – and would you believe, I am friends Gus’s EX list too.
That label of EX just means that they are EXTRA special in my life because God chose to put them there for an extra special reason. They Just Fit!
I love and adore my dysfunctional list of family and friends and when it comes down to it – Granny Baer is the one that started it all. Through her, I learned there is nothing “former” about family and friends, when love and respect are at the very foundation.