Sunday, February 27, 2011


A few years ago I ordered a book from the book club at the Elementary School. The book order came home and we were so excited!! We ripped opened the package and there was not the book we ordered but a different book and a little note that read: The book you ordered will arrive shortly. We hope you enjoy this gift book while you wait!

Well of course we were a little disappointed, but we decided to read the book. It is entitled "The Relatives Came" by Cynthia Rylant. It quickly became one of my favorite Children's books.

It's about the summer when the relatives came. They came up from Virgina to visit us. They left at four in the morning when it was still dark. And finally after hours of traveling they arrived. Then it was hugging time. They hugged us for hours.

The book goes on to talk about all of the wonderful visiting and loving that went on. It says, "The relatives weren't particular about beds, which was good since there weren't any extras, so a few squeezed in with us and the rest slept on the floor, some with their arms thrown over the closest person, or some with an arm across one person and a leg across another. It was different, going to sleep with all that new breathing in the house. The relatives stayed for weeks and weeks. They helped us tend the garden and they fixed any broken things they could find....We were so busy hugging and eating and breathing together." But then it was finally time to go. After they left, "We watched the relatives disappear down the road, then we crawled back into our beds that felt too big and too quiet. The relatives drove all day long and into the night. And they thought about us. We were missing them. And they missed us."

I am the oldest of the seven girls. I've always loved and tried to take care of my sisters. Sometimes I'm sure I've been too bossy as I've tried to "help" a sister. My mom and dad used to give me a lot of babysitting responsibilities. Now I give my oldest daughter Brynn a lot of responsibilities with the little kids. With all of that helping came something unexpected...LOVE. I have a lot of love and motherly concern for my sisters.

Over the past couple of years I have seen several sisters need a place to stay for a while. Mostly, because of a internship or job change, but they need a temporary place to live in St. George. Because of this I have been lucky enough to have
Rindi, Judi, and Stalee's family's live with us.

The most recent has been Stalee's family. They moved to St.George last year to take a great new job that her husband was offered. We had a basement apartment and we all decided it would be great if they came and lived with us. This has been a fantastic year. We have helped each other. They have helped us "tend the garden and fix any thing that was broken". Because of the economy, we have both been a little broken and needed some fixing. Our two families have worked together to heal.

I have felt so much love for Stalee, Clint and their three girls. I have loved having the girls run in, smiling from ear to ear because they missed us. I have loved jogging with Stalee almost daily. I have loved having a best friend just down the stairs. I have loved borrowing eggs from my downstairs neighbor. I have loved seeing the cousins love each other like sisters. I have been so grateful for the help Stalee has given me. She has watched my two little girls while I have taught a few Math class at Dixie College. I have felt so safe knowing they were cared for and loved. I have been so grateful for all of her love.

Now they are ready to find a home, to live on their own. They have found the "perfect" place and we are so happy for them. But we will miss them and they will miss us. We are so used to hugging and eating and breathing together that our house, and hearts, will feel too big and too quiet without Stalee's family. We love you guys and will cherish our memories forever!!


weston's said...

Oh boy Sunee, I agree completely. It is going to be so different for both of us. I will miss you guys so much. It has been so fun to have Avree love me when I needed a little one. Our kids have been so happy. Thank you Thank you for being so kind. You made us have a safe place to live. I will always cherish our stay here. Love ya

Rindi said...

Tears! Love that book. That was so beautifully written! We have all been so blessed to have the best older sister. Thank you for being you!

Em Russ said...

Wow. I'm totally getting all teary over this post. Mostly because I am the one far far away who comes visiting and then goes home missing. Missing my own sisters and missing you and all of yours (because it was YOUR makeup I tested out, Sunee and YOU that told me about your dates and boys and gave me advice... guess I feel like one of the sisters sometimes!) Anyway, I just may have to get myself a copy of this book! (And then figure out how to come visit y'all!!

Love, Em

Anonymous said...

Sunee, I read your blog to Dad. We both shed a tear or two. We love family coming to visit. We love all of the breathing and arms and legs all over each other. We are always sad to see our loved ones leave.
But I will admit that Dad and I love the house to ourselves too. WE are having a wonderful empty nest experience. Love, Mom

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