The year is rapidly coming to an end and I have not written about so many of the people and other gifts of life for which I am deeply thankful. Tomorrow is my nephew Ryan’s birthday which reminds me of how thankful I am for my niece and nephews. Having lived considerably closer to Ryan, I have spent more time with him than with Christina and Jonathan, but I am proud of and thankful for all three of them.
Christina is the oldest child of my baby sister, Darlene and her husband Thurman. She is married to Ronnie Jennings and they have two charming daughters, Kathryn and Natalia. Christina was a quiet and charming little girl. She was especially attached to my mother; I always felt she had an instinctive drive to heal my mother’s hurts. I know Mom identified with her in a special way. After a stint in the Air Force and taking time to have her girls, she went back to school and became a nurse. I think she has that special temperament to be a great nurse, a fusion of compassion and strength.
Jonathan is my youngest nephew. My recollections of his childhood are mostly attached to my father. Mom use to say he reminded her of me, always tagging along with Dad helping him work. Of all of us he seems to have gotten Dad’s quiet, unpretentious strength. The comparison extends to vocation; Dad was a truck driver and Jonathan delivers for UPS. He is married to Jennifer and they have one child, Alexander. I suspected Jennifer was the one the first time I met her.
Ryan is my sister Shirley’s only child. He is a lawyer married to a lawyer, Andrea. In high school and college Ryan was the kid who stayed active in church and went on the youth missions trips. He decided early he wanted to be a lawyer and remained steadfast in the pursuit of that dream even serving as editor of the law review in law school. Andrea practices family law in behalf of women and children at risk. They don’t have any children, yet (my “yet,” not theirs).
They are three outstanding young adults married to three equally special people. Without any reservation I proudly proclaim the world is a much better place because they are in it. They give me hope for the future. And one final note, just like my girls, they are the products of my mother’s prayers. I know God has wonderful plans for them.
December 8, 2010