The weekend was great, busy but great. Since our younger sister is undergoing her second marathon chemo treatment, our other sister and her husband came down for the weekend. The six day chemo treatment is over, but it is followed by two weeks of treatments I won't go into because it's confusing and makes no sense to anyone but the insurance company.
Our cousin from Alaska and her husband came for dinner and a visit Friday. It was so fun to get reaquainted with someone we were very close to when we were children, but had only seen once before as an adult. We've stayed in touch through letters and emails in the intervening years, but how fun it was to sit down at the table together and really talk. I cooked dinner and it turned out pretty well. I'm not a bad cook, but it's a challenge to prepare foods my husband who has Celiac can eat and that still tastes good (normal) to everyone else. My cousin and her husband will be staying with us for a few weeks later this year while he undergoes some medical treatments.
Saturday night, an accomodating restaurant in the downtown area, let us have a corner of their dining room to ourselves so that my sister could go out to dinner with us and not worry about exposure to others who might be less than well while her immune system is wiped out.
Saturday morning a five-year-old grandson came to visit while his mom and dad kept an appointment. We built a race track from the table leaves and had Hot Wheels races down our stairway. There's nothing like laughing with a five-year-old!
I talked to three of my daughters and my son on the phone during the weekend. No big deal; we keep in close touch with our children. I read emails from relatives that don't live nearby. So what made the weekend so great? Family. The newspapers and Internet are filled everyday with the cruelty of family members to other family members, of abuse, abandonment, and even murder within families. How grateful I am for the closeness of my family that spans generations and long distances. Writing about dysfunctional families often leads to exciting, thought provoking stories, but I'm glad I've been blessed with a family filled with love and respect for one another.
Since Shudder was released a few weeks ago, I've received a lot of questions from readers about my knowledge of abuse and I've tried to explain how someone like me is touched by abuse when the victim is a dear friend, someone I work with, or someone dear to another family member. I've received several emails from women, too, who have said they were abused, some stayed and regret it, others said they never regretted escaping to a new life, but never stopped looking over their shoulders.
In our busy lives, I am convinced that the best defense against abuse is strong families, close friendships, and showing personal concern for those around us.
This is the last week for this month's second contest. Remember the prize is a signed copy of Shudder and one other LDS suspense novel. Respond with a thoughtful comment to this blog or to any blog I've written since October 15th and/or become a follower of this blog and your name will be in the drawing Halloween Day.