This summer, my Dad's twin sister passed away. My dad's family has a history of mental illness, and my aunt Diann inherited it, so it was actually a relief when she left, because she is finally free and whole again.
A little history here: My dad's mom had mental issues and couldn't take care of the kids. She had five kids in five years, the youngest died not long after birth (I think that right there is enough to make any mother go insane). When she had my dad and Diann, the Riggs family in the ward took them in. They had many teenage/young adult girls and one boy that helped raise my dad and Diann.
Anyway, at Diann's funeral one of the Riggs girls spoke. She told of her mom's difficult decision to take the babies in to raise, stories from their childhood... etc. I never have really heard my dad's stories from this family's perspective; it was interesting. Then she went on mentioning several of the Porter family's trials- mental illness, the death of their dad and other family members... then she said something like, "There is a crown of glory in store for the Porter family." And immediately, like a flip of the switch, I thought, "You're the one who will have a crown of glory". And it came to me how blessed I am because of this family. I honestly felt like God was saying, "Holly, look how blessed your life is because of them." I always knew what a blessing they were to my dad, but I guess I didn't think much about how it affected me.
What a sacrifice they made taking in the twins of a dysfunctional family. Now, as a mom, I can especially recognize what a sacrifice that would be. Because of them, my dad had opportunities he never would have had without them. He graduated high school and college, had a mom write him letters every week on his mission, got a good job, and actually met my mom through one of the sisters. I have a wonderful dad and have had a good upbringing. I'm certain a large part of it is due to the Riggs family.
I recognize the hand of the Lord in my life- he inspired a sweet mother of teenagers to raise my dad. She will never know how she blessed his family's life. I am forever grateful to her and her family.
5 months ago