Thank You to Family Members

Hi Wickeds. When we’re together, we talk a lot about family. I’m wondering, on this Thanksgiving Eve, if there’s a special family member you’d like to express your gratitude to or for. Maybe someone a little further out in the circle–in-law, aunt, uncle, cousin? Let’s hear your stories.

JoEdith: My aunt Jo (Joan, pronounced Joann) Maxwell Reinhardt was my father’s younger sister and was always my favorite. She was tall and elegant while still being down to earth. Her meals and baked goods were to die for, and she had a ready tinkling laugh. She made you feel like you had all her attention, to the point of her mouth almost moving with the words you said. I had a permanent welcome in her and my uncle Dick’s lovely San Francisco row house. Jo still seemed so young when she died nearly ten years ago at age 82, and I miss her greatly – although I see glimmers of her in her three sons, my cousins – and I’m grateful for the unconditional love she offered me.

Julie: I’m so blessed in the family department. Tomorrow I’ll be spending the day with my sister’s family, and her in-laws. I love these get-togethers. Pat Spence, my brother-in-law’s sister, and I are SO alike. We love our shared nieces fiercely, are huge Star Trek: The Next Generation fans, both bring crafts to work on during the day, and love to laugh. I’m going to give her a shout-out here.

Liz: My grandfather was my favorite person ever, from the time I was a kid and he used to sit for hours listening to me play the piano (badly, I’m sure) or give him a private dance recital (which was also terrible, since I got kicked out of dance). He was a detective, and I have to credit my love for all things crime to him. It’s hard to believe he’s been gone for 17 years – I still wish I could spend an afternoon with him listening to his stories.

Jessie: I am always overwhelmingly grateful for my younger sister. She is one of those people is loyal to the marrow, generous to a fault and has never seen a glass that wasn’t at least three-quarters full. She is a faithful friend, fierce mother and a bright light that never seems to flicker. Truly I am blessed to be associated with her.

Barb: This is a hard one, because I have many wonderful relatives. Since we’re going further afield in this post, I would like to say how grateful I am for Marilyn Mick. She is my husband’s brother’s ex-wife’s cousin’s wife. In other words, we’re not related. But she has been an absolute stalwart of support for me. She’s often hosted our family holiday parties, and hosted my daughter’s bridal shower and her baby shower. She’s been a supporter of my books and writing life, a sharer of friends and traditions, a thrower of Super Bowl parties, and a friend and confidant. I am so grateful.

Sherry: My Aunt Pat isn’t a blood relative but my mom’s sorority sister. She was beautiful, interesting, funny, and oh, so full of life. They lived in Arizona, very far from me in Iowa so each visit was extra special. Everyone should have an Aunt Pat in their lives. Aunt Pat always told the story of one of their visits when I was in high school. I was supposed to clear the table and do the dishes but told my mom that I needed to talk to Aunt Pat. The picture of us is the last time I saw her — she died unexpectedly six months later. But it’s a perfect example of how fun it was to be around her — the cigars are cookies.

Hey readers, today Liz is giving away an ARC of Murder She Meowed and a JJ’s House of Purrs tote bag to two commenters! Who is your special not so close family member?

44 Thoughts

  1. Growing up, I lived very far from my relatives, me in Texas and most of them in Indiana or Michigan. That said, my Aunt Lilly and Uncle Dick had my heart! They lived on a farm in Michigan and when we would take vacation to see them, it was the best experience! From the moment I arrived, I did everything with them, soaking farm life in. From the house chores with my Aunt to the farm chores with my Uncle. I loved baking and cooking, something my mom did not allow me to do. I also helped in the garden, whether it was planting, watering or bring in the vegetables. I learned to drive a tractor at the age of 5, helped clean the barn, and fed and took care of the new pigs.
    Sadly, my Aunt and Uncle are both gone. I miss them dearly. I am so very grateful I was given the chance to be with them and learn a different way of life.
    I do hope all of you Wickeds have a wondeful Thanksgiving! Thank you for your amazing work and the joy you bring by writing!

  2. I think you ladies have forgotten that not everyone is easily able to visit even their CLOSE relatives (siblings), especially as we get up in years! I am most grateful that my brother out in South Dakota is willing to bring me (on the Eastern Shore of Maryland) one of his spare vehicles to replace the one I rolled due to black ice last week.

      1. Slowly recovering. Have a rental so I can visit friends for 1 pm dinner today, but I will be driving extra slowly since the high will be 32*F/0*C!

  3. My Aunt Ginny, my Mom’s youngest sister. Because of distance we rarely see each other. I’ve talked with her on the phone a few times and she sounded my Aunt Ginny that I’ve known all my life but last month my youngest niece got married and Aunt Ginny came up from Ohio and I hear this Paula and in front of me is this short woman with a walker that I did not recognize. When she spoke I knew her right away and the more that I looked at her I could see Ginny in her. It was such a shock as she is only 5 years older than me. My cousin Carletta and I are after the holidays going to plan a family reunion as it’s been too many years since we have all seen each other and we need to correct that.

  4. I have to say my friend, Barb – we may not be related but she is the closest thing to a sister that I have. We bonded as young Army wives in GA, and have stayed connected for 45 years. When we are close we share Thanksgiving and It has always meant a lot to us as a family. We don’t see each other as often now as we are in PA and she is in GA, but we try to vacation together when we can.

  5. My Uncle Phil was my favorite relative growing up. We didn’t live close, but I talked to him on the phone and I always appreciated his sense of humor. He was a police detective and so had a lot of stories to tell. Thanks for sharing your stories – it was wonderful to see how many of you are blessed with close supportive relationships. Happy Wicked Thanksgiving!

  6. I am so very thankful for my sister-by-choice. Although we live in different states, she makes a point to call me every Wednesday night (if not more often) where we catch up, let off steam and just share the joy of chatting. She’s always been there for me – through thick and thin. When my Mom was living with us after cancer surgery and with Alzheimer, she was my link to the outside world. She has kept me sane, kept me from blowing up by letting off steam and made me laugh when I didn’t think it was possible. Even now, if we want to take off for a few days, this is my go to place to go. I know it will be a relaxing fun time. I thank God every day for this wonderful woman and that I have her in my life!

    May your Thanksgiving be a blessing to you and everything you want it to be!

    Appreciate the opportunity to win an ARC of “Murder She Meowed” and a JJ’s House of Purrs tote bag. Would LOVE to be one of the fortunate ones selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  7. I am so blessed to have my close friend Jinny in my life. We met in San Francisco, I moved home to Iowa, she moved home to New Jersey & 45 years later we are still best friends.

  8. My SIL. She’s such a special part of my life, from the first time we met and she pitched in to pass out flowers to unknown family members, on my side, on my wedding day, to our video and coffee chats daily. She made me feel so at home always. She’s a found sister that I’ll always cherish.

  9. When my uncle married, my new aunt brought her family and merged them with ours. I have loved getting to know all of them over the years. Her mother, especially was a treasure. When she passed away, she was the closest thing I had to a grandparent since I’d lost all of mine.

  10. What wonderful memories and great relationships with non-family members. My favorite family member would be my lovely mother-in-law. She lived to be 92 and I miss her dearly. She was the mother that my own didn’t know how to be. She was always supportive and never judgmental. She accepted me and my 3 year old daughter right from the very beginning. I am so fortunate that we moved close to her before she died. It gave me a chance to show her how much I appreciated all she had done for me through many years.

  11. My best friend, Sandy, is also my neighbor. We’ve known each other for 30+ years and she’s more like my second sister. We are always there for each other, in good times and bad times. My life is so much better with her and her family in my life.

  12. My dad grew up on a homestead in Montana – he lived a life from one of the Zane Grey books he loved so much. On the other side, we have old southern storytellers. So I’m blessed with albums full of larger than life characters – most of them passed on. The enduring relationship that brings me the most pure joy now is my precious nieces & nephews. Only 2 are “real” nephews, but then also their friends & spouses, my best friend’s kids, younger coworkers, past interns… I’ve found my stride as AuntieSash & live to shower them with love, advice, praise, presents, & presence.

  13. Lana is my mom’s second cousin, but she’s always been Aunt Lana to me. She’s incredibly supportive & great to bounce ideas off of. She is very witty & always makes me laugh.

  14. Two people, who are husband and wife, that are not related to our family but feel like they are, Tom and Donna. They are from our church where we worshiped. They have adopted our family and made our children their grandchildren. When our children were born, they welcomed them like they were their own kin. As they grew, Tom and Donna adopted our family and did for us like they did their own family. Babysitting, loaning a car, helping out when things would break, etc. Even now since they are in their golden years they still hold a special place where family is for us.

  15. I’m thankful for my mom, who is always there to support me and help me (whether I want it or not). Her love is unconditional, though, and in the end that’s all that matters. I’m thankful for my dad, who is still recovering from having a pacemaker implanted. Hopefully it will help his heart pump more effectively and I won’t have to worry about him so much. And my sister, who is and will always be, my best friend. I love them all so much and cherish every minute we get to spend together.

  16. My favorite that I would love to tell you about is my best friend, Sherri. We met when our two older boys were in preschool. We were both pregnant and due the same month. Through the hard times, good times, and times you would rather not remember, she is always there. We are as close as sisters could be. I am so grateful for our friendship, and the trials that have strengthed us. I love herto the moon and back!

  17. I am late to this post, but I wanted to honor my husband’s Aunt Helen. His parents were a little prickly but she made me feel welcome in the family from the beginning. We kept up a correspondence over the years, some visits because they were in Indiana and we were in California, when I went on a year and a half long business trip to Chicago I was lucky enough to spend many many weekends with her and the cousins (now MY aunt and cousins!) and I was able to be here when she passed away. A wonderful lady.

  18. I had many aunts and uncles but 3 treated me special–Mae, Carol, and Barbara! My aunt Mae has passed away but I am pen pals with the other two!

  19. I have a few cousins who are special to me even though we haven’t seen or spoken to each other in some years. We live far from each other across the country.

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