Saturday, September 14, 2013

Aunts Uncles Family Friends

"Me, Brudder and Aunties" - An Original by Izzy, our budding artist

When I was a young girl, my parents referred to our nearest and dearest friends as Aunts and Uncles. They never took the place of my Aunts and Uncles by blood, but the terms showed respect, and more so, acknowledged that they were as close to us as family. Our children are growing up with the same regard for our very dear friends.

There is no doubt that one's closest friends may as well be blood relatives. Now a days families are spread apart across the country and in our case, the world. When Mr. Darling and I were stationed in Virginia Beach, our friends became our family. They joined the ranks of Auntie Jess, my darling sister by a friendship that began ten years ago when we met during our Syracuse University orientation - and Auntie Liz, my darling sister by Bro-mance - her husband and Mr. Darling go back to the "Good Old Boy" days in Louisville, Kentucky.  As a family, we have shared life, loss, joy and sorrow. To hear our children refer to them as Auntie or Uncle makes us smile all the way to our core.

I remember the nights I used to spend with Tee Tee (Izzy, still too young to pronounce Auntie, so my girlfriend Casey became Tee Tee ). While our husbands were deployed on training trips together, she and I would make dinner for each other, alternating nights at each other's home. One of us would bathe the children after dinner while the other would prepare their jammies and pull-ups. While the little ones got their final thirty minutes of playtime, we could sit down and enjoy a glass of wine. Afterward, one of us would walk across the street to our home and we would do it all again the next evening. Casey and I made a team, a typical military family. During those nights, everything was okay. While the worry about our husbands never left us, we could find contentment in the feeling that we had a family in each other. It is memories like this that illustrate something my father once said: There is no limit on love. Love is endless and it can be shared in a way that is sincere and generous by anyone who is willing to give it.

As a parent, it is a relief and a blessing to us that no matter where we are, our children are surrounded by very special Aunties and Uncles who love them limitlessly and with heartfelt sincerity. The comfort and security of this knowledge, that only friendship and unconditional love brings, is truly humbling. After all, what is greater and more powerful than the feeling of family?

With love,
Mrs. Darling

2 comments:

  1. I love you all like family and your kiddos like my own!! Love the pic!!!
    Xoxoxoxox

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