Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Forever Family!

When I first found about about Grizelda, I was a little concerned about my family coming for Christmas. After all, I had brain surgery on the 19th of December, and the first of my children to arrive came on the 18th. Most of them had already decided to come, but when the two that weren’t coming found out about Grizelda, they decided to come too. That meant that I would have from 25 to 37 people in the house during the two week Christmas holiday.

At first I was worried about how I would be able to handle the commotion, but those thoughts were fast dismissed by thoughts of the joy from seeing them all. As it turned out, that was the emotion that permeated the holiday. It was fantastic. Yes, it was noisy. Yes, there was a lot of chaos. But as I sat in bed and listened to the noise downstairs, I realized that over the years with a big family (I had all ten children in 17 years) I had come to equate pandemonium and noise with health and happiness. The noise was actually comforting!

The girls (that includes my daughter-in-law) took over and did all the cooking and cleaning. When they got a chance, they came up and visited. It was so nice to have alone time with them! Usually when they are here, I am so busy cooking and cleaning that I barely get to visit. So being in bed turned out to be a great blessing. (I just hope I can eventually find where everything is in my kitchen!)

I’ve always loved having a big family, but I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated it like I did during those two weeks. It was such a comfort just knowing they were nearby instead of in VA, SC, TN, TX, or CA. Families are wonderful and I am so thankful they are also forever!

One of my daughters told me that when people find out she has nine siblings they always ask if she liked growing up in a large family. She considers it a strange question. Being the seventh child, she wouldn't be here if we had a small family!

I’m glad I have every single one of them. It wasn’t always easy, but it was the best thing I ever did.


Laresa said...

Mom I was just going to write and tell you that the best part of the vacation was always knowing where you were in the house. You have always been so busy and on the run. I keep telling my friends that was the best part of the vacation, being able to talk to you whenever I wanted to talk to you. How great that you wrote about that today!!

Anonymous said...

Sister Johnson:

I too am one of 10 children. Noise and confusion was part of my growing up life as well. I can relate well to this posting.

When we were helping my mother through her cancer surgery, and later as we were serving her while she prepared to leave us, I became keenly aware of how blessed my mother was to have so many of us. She gave us a great gift in her willingness to bear and raise all of us. Even in her death she was kind to us by providing so many siblings to help shoulder the burden.

Family truly is wonderful, especially when the family loves each other and is willing to serve one another as yours is. And in a very strange way, the trials we face together as a family actually help us grow stronger and more loving.

Laura Gordon

Anonymous said...

mom oh How I wish I was still there. I had a wonderful vacation and I am glad I have so many friends I call family!!!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Laresa, I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Laura, Where do you fit into the 10? It has become almost impossible to have large families anymore because of simple things like seat-belt laws and the expense. I'm just glad I was able to! Thanks for your comments. They are always insightful.

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Dear Anonymous, Which of my darling children are you? I didn't name any of you anonymous!

Dave's Mom said...

Seat belt laws were not around when I was a kid - we just piled into a station wagon or a van and squeezed together really tight. My mom usually held the baby on her lap when my father drove, and there was another child or two between her and my father in the front seat.

I am the second oldest of the 10 children, and the oldest daughter. I had lots of opportunities to be the surrogate mother growing up.

I don't know if you have been checking Amy's blog recently, but she now has three postings from Jerusalem. You might enjoy them if you are looking for additional reading material.

Laura Gordon

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Laura, Yes, I have been checking Amy's blog regularly. It sounds like she is having a wonderful experience. And no wonder you are such a good mom. You had a lot of experience before you became one!

shannan said...

Your family photo is priceless. It is so neat to see all of you together again and it brings back a lot of memories for me.

Shannan Wainwright

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Shannan, How nice of you to leave a comment! It is good to hear from you. It was so fun to have Carrissa in my class. You've got a very find daughter! xoxoxo

shannan said...

Thank you. Carissa loved having you for a teacher, and I am so glad you get to teach at BYU! I have been checking in on you but have never left a comment. I amost wrote to Mariah once but then got distracted. Tell everyone "hi" for me. Lots and lots of xoxoxoxo