- Family: Obviously, I immediately thought of my parents. I'm so grateful for the parents I had. I may have only had a short time with them, but they had a profound impact on the person I am.
As well, my sisters. I have a lot of fun memories of our growing up years. We had some fun times together. So often I think of what it must have been like for my dad each time my mom would deliver a baby (those were the days before sonograms to tell you what you were having--so it was really A SURPRISE ) He was a great dad who loved his girls. I remember all of us riding in the back of the pick up truck--laying on a mattress as we'd go to San Francisco just about every weekend. It was fun being part of a big family. Also, I know I wouldn't be who I am today if it wasn't for the love and generosity of Helen and Les--what fantastic examples they were to my sisters and me. They were there for us through everything during those teenage years and then on into adulthood. Every February my mind goes back to February 14th, when they were given guardianship of my sisters and me.
- Allan: He has been such a big part of helping me develop into the woman I am today. I can't say enough about him. He has given me so much love and has helped me develop a great deal of confidence. He is such a wonderful example--I'm so glad we can be together forever. I love that whenever he travels and then comes home he has a note that he's written me on the plane--what a sweetie. He is so supportive and encouraging. And I feel so blessed that he is the father of my children.
- My Children/Step-Children: I have learned so much through the whole mothering process. I LOVE being a mother. Even though none of my children are home any more, I have some great memories that I'm grateful will be with me ALWAYS. I also know that I still have an influence in their lives. I think there are times in our lives when we feel our children don't need us any more. I know that isn't true. They may not need us in the same way, but they still need us. I'm reminded of that fact when they call for a recipe, for reassurance, or JUST TO TALK. I love hearing from them and especially love having the opportunity to go and visit with them. In all of my e-mails from my little Elder he always tells me how much he appreciates me and that always makes this mom feel good.
- The In-Laws: All of them. Let's see:
- My mother-in-law and father-in-law. When I married Allan in 1982, they welcomed me with open arms. I was concerned--I had an interesting past, but they loved me and accepted me. I was reading something yesterday and thinking of my MIL and how much I love her. I miss her. She was a remarkable woman. I still remember her and my FIL coming to Winnipeg to help when I had my hysterectomy. The kids loved having them here. My FIL was such a great man.
- The in-law children: Let me begin with a funny story--When I crossed the border on Monday coming back into Canada, the Customs Agent asked me the usual questions: "Where have you been?" "When did you leave?" I responded that I had been in Texas for the birth of my new granddaughter and that I had left Winnipeg on January 17th. He said, "Oh, when was she born?" When I told him January 3rd, his response caught me off guard. "Well, that's not a "new" granddaughter. You must be the mother-in-law". I chuckled. "Yes, I am." Let me make it very clear that I did not have a problem coming two weeks later ; ), but I do think there is such an interesting dynamic between MIL's and DIL's. I happen to have two great DIL's. I'm grateful that they love my sons and they are the mothers to my grandchildren. As well, I have a couple of pretty great son-in-laws. They love my daughters and that keeps this mama VERY HAPPY