Today I am grateful for my family. Not my Martin Family, but my Sweeney Family (my parents and siblings). Wait, that makes it sound like I am not thankful for my hubby and kids, which of course couldn't be further from the truth!! But today, I am especially thinking about the family I grew up in.
My Dad was born in Ireland, met my Mom at a dance in Donegal while she was there visiting her parents (who were born there and moved back later). As the love story goes, my Dad fell instantly in love with my mom, and had to wait until the end of the night to ask her to dance because she was so busy dancing with all the other gentlemen. Seriously, my Mom was a hottie!! She was also engaged to her fiance back in America - what a player! (Uh, Mom, if you're reading this, you know what they call girls like that nowadays, right??) But back then, my Mom swears she "just dated" different guys on different nights, it was nothing special. Everyone went on plenty of dates as friends until you finally got serious with one guy.
Well, my handsome Irish Dad was so enamored by my gorgeous American Mom that he moved to the US and lived with her Aunt! Sounds stalkerish, but I guess back in the sixties it wasn't so weird?? My Dad actually knew her Aunt back in Ireland (his parents and my Mom's parents knew each other) so it wasn't that crazy, I guess ;)
(My Dad is on the right, and my Mom is next to him)
But there was still that problem of her fiance. My Dad just kept persevering until my Mom finally realized what was good for her, and broke up with her fiance. My Dad says he had to propose three times until he finally got a yes! Talk about determination! They got married when my Mom was 28 and my Dad was 26.
And got pregnant on the Honeymoon like the good Irish Catholics they were :)
Years passed and in the end, they had 6 children: two boys and four girls. I am number 5, and I was a complete surprise as my Mom was 42 when I was born, but she wanted me to have a playmate, and had my little sister two years later. How generous!!
My Dad was/is a builder and my Mom was a nurse that became a stay-at-home-mom and then a Homemade Ice Cream Shop Owner. It was a fun and yummy childhood on Cape Cod!
All of us kids are married with 3 kids each (except me who has 4!), so the "immediate" family is pretty gigantic. We also all live within an hour of each other, with many of us living in the same town!
I am always being reminded how lucky I am to:
1) Have family live so close
2) Get along with my siblings and parents
3) Have my children grow up with their cousins
4) Have 4 doctors in the mix (free medical advice!)
5) Switch "nanny" duties with my sister(s) so that my kids are well cared for while I work
6) Have grown up with such a strong work ethic (we all had to work in the shop)
7) Have lived on Cape Cod
8) See firsthand the beauty of a Catholic, NFP-using, love-filled marriage
Thanks Mom and Dad, and all my siblings and siblings-in-law, and nieces and nephews. For you I am eternally grateful!
What are you thankful for today?