The inspiration for the first four Bloomers: Bud Inski, Rosey Posey, Silly Lilly, and Big Red. I found a letter I had written many years ago to Bobby with whom I had created our blended family. It's long - almost three pages, single-spaced, typewritten and personal so I won't regurgitate the whole thing here, but on a brighter note, it has given me blog fodder for months to come! The catalyst of the letter was apparently that I was tired and irritated at Mac (our youngest) for bugging me to fix the home computer at 10:30 at night because he needed it to do homework that he didn't start until 10:00. So typical, isn't it? Anyway, here is my favorite excerpt:
"I love our family. Last night it was at its dysfunctional best. Me cranky, you cranky. Me yelling at Mac for relentlessly bugging me to deal with a... you guessed it... computer problem. You yelling at Sophia for the one-thousandth time about the phone. Cassie comforting Sophia. Cassie yelling at Mac for embarrassing her in front of friends and family. Mac feeling like everyone hates him. You comforting Mac. You snapping at Cassie. Alex comforting Cassie. You and me fighting. Cassie comforting me even though she had a crappy day. Alex comforting me multiple times throughout the day. Sophia feeling my pain for losing my Gucci sunglasses... whew! Well, I don't want to go through it again. But somehow we just slogged through it. There is not a day that goes by, that I don't question the structure and workings of our wacky, lovable family."
The one recurring word that resonated with me in that paragraph is "comforting." We reached out and selflessly comforted each other even in the midst of all our personal pain or maybe because of it. It occurred to me that when you comfort others it alleviates your pain while it creates a certain closeness that is irreplaceable. I always encouraged that in our kids - to stick up for each other no matter what - even if it meant hiding things from us. Because I knew that one day we would be gone and they would have only each other as the remnants of our original family. I always said that people need families to get through the tough stuff that life throws at us. Another thing that always helped us through our difficulties was fun and laughter which prompted a young Cassie at one point to shout out, "We put the fun in dysfunctional!"
Many years later, that closeness endures in a special way. This weekend we all went through a lot of pain together as Bobby passed away. It is hard to make sense of this tragedy that happened at such an early stage in the kids' lives. Our family, in the midst of it, did what we do best: be together, hunker down, hug, laugh, and comfort each other because that's what we do. And I can tell you after each of them gave their moving eulogy, I could not possibly have been any prouder of my very functional Bloomers.