Nick and Amanda are the bookends in this photo. They are my soul surviving brother's kids. Nick is an exceptionally smart, poetic, prolific writer and openly gay in spite of the fact that he lives in a place where gay is not well tolerated. He has suffered at the hands of ignorance and prejudice but continues to make his way in this world, surviving with his wits and strength. He has a heart as big as an Oklahoma chicken fried steak and is honest beyond measure. One day I hope he will allow me to share some of his writings with you.
That soulful-eyed beauty sitting next to me is Lacey. Her dad was my oldest brother. She has been surviving pretty much on her own for a long time now. She is 24 and has two rambunctious yet extremely smart and loving sons. She works hard to make a home for them along with her beau. She struggles with cars breaking down and utility bills but she will always find a way to come out on top. She knows she is living a crazy life with lots of stories to tell. I'm going to design a blog template and send it to her as I think she may be the next big thing to hit the blogosphere.
Her sister, Meghan couldn't make it. I missed seeing her. She is tiny, delicate and sweet with the biggest eyes you have ever seen. She was a daddy's girl. I know she continues to suffer, trying to make sense of a senseless loss. But I also know she has chosen to live a healthy life when she could have just as easily turned to addiction to ease the pain.
I am so proud of these kids. I just can't stand it. Here is my favorite Celtic prayer for you. It is a part of your heritage. Just imagine some bagpipes playing in the background as you read it.
Deep peace of the running waves to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the son of peace to you.
Peace and love, my angels.