We are adding new members to our extended family in February and I am so excited. My cousin, best friend, singing partner, Amanda's children....both of them are going to have babies in February. Ramona is due Feb. 15th and Suzanna, David's wife, is due Feb. 20th. How cool is that! Cousins will be almost like siblings and that is my topic today, Amanda and her sisters. I am a very fortunate person to have the family I have. We are so close that I can't imagine a family not being like us. My brother died in 1963 at the age of almost 6. I was 9. It was a very sad moment in my life and I don't think I could have gotten through it if it had not been for my extended family. My aunt Shirley, my mom's sister, has four girls....their dad died the same year my brother did....so we just kind of adopted each other and became a big family. Terri is the oldest daughter and she is just a year younger than I am. Terri is a mega A personality but I adore her. She speaks her mind and takes charge. During my life as a child, teen and adult there have been many times that she has had to help me take charge of situations in my life. Terri is a great deal like my mom. Amanda is the next daughter and she is 2 years younger than me. We share a lot of common interests and sing together...and share just about everything with each other. She calls a spade a spade and has always been there to pick me up when I have fallen. I don't know if I could have gotten through my first marriage and my divorce without Amanda and her husband Randy. They opened their home up to me....and several others....it became a joke that they were running a home for wayward women there for a while. They are awesome. Linda is daughter number three...she is like me...more a type B personality. We really make wrong choices sometimes....but she is such a loving and dear soul that I cannot imagine my life without her in it. Melissa is the baby. She is ten years younger than I am....and I adored her as a child and teen....but love she and her husband Clay to death as an adult. The girls were always there when we would arrive in Alabama and always wanted me to go home with them to the Valley. Many nights of skating, dating, and doing a few other unmentionables filled my visits with wonderful memories. Amanda and I began playing guitars and writing music and having children about the same time....so we bonded quickly. We are traveling, singing, sharing, crazy acting adopted sisters. She fills my life with special moments and I am so very proud to be part of her life. She shines on stage and shines in life with her effervescent personality. When you meet her...you feel as if you have known her forever....and you want to be around her all the time. As a Still Magnolia she dominates the stage with her presence....and for that I am grateful....because believe it or not...I am the shy one of the group. I just want to sing....and Rebecca and Amanda sometimes have to make me talk....but Lord when I start talking....something takes over and I can't shut up.
Rambling over....now back to Ramona and David. When Ramona was born I thought there could be nothing anymore perfect on the earth. She was the most beautiful baby ever...and the first time she grasped my finger with her little baby hand....I was hooked....line and sinker. She was precious. Then came my own daughter, Kat....she was 2 years younger....and they were so much alike...and so different...it was like having two daughters....and then came David....he is 6 months younger than Kat....and he was all boy....from the start. He had a twinkle in his eye that was hard to resist....Years passed....they grew....made choices....went to school....and then one day David met this glorious creature named Suzanna. She was breathtaking. I knew the first time I met her...that she was David's life mate...even though they didn't. They married and are now at seminary in Louisville, KY. I miss quick access to them both. They are such fun...David is very musically oriented. He sings like an angel....and Suzanna....she is my crafting counterpart....I know that God has His hand in their marriage....just like I know His hand is in Brian and Kat's....it is just one of those prayers that was answered....and you know it! Ramona....met Dustin.....and He was Mr. Incredible! She referenced him to the cartoon character....Mr. Incredible...and the first time we met this remarkable young man....I knew she was right....and that he was her lifemate. I have never in my life met anyone like Dustin. He is funny, loving, and FSU fan....from Florida....he is smart...and a doll. I cried through their entire wedding out of shear joy that someone would love My Ramona like I wanted her to be loved. He is Amazing! Now the generations are continuing the cycle...and there will be babies in both households. I could not be more excited for Amanda and Randy....coming off of a very sad few years....this...this is what life is all about....Life Goes....and Life Goes On....We truly are part of a bigger plan...and My God is Amazing! I love you Dustin and Ramona and David and Suzanna....and of course...Randy and Amanda....let the baby showers begin!