Friday, September 3, 2010

SISTERS! I am Blessed with SEVEN!!!

This is the last Family Photo that was taken when we were all together, looks familiar because its on my Blog Page ~ I am blessed to be the oldest of ALL 8 Girls, and yes, we all have the same parents! Still alive & Kicking I might add!!
Johnson Girls with Mom & Dad ~ Summer 2001
We will all be together again this weekend for a long awaited reunion and a lot has happened in 9 years ~ (I hope I get this right) I got Divorced, moved from FL to NC and am now engaged to be married next Fall, Lydia got Married & became a Step Grandma, Irene (already married) bought a house & had a baby, Nili got married, traveled around the world, and had a miracle baby ~ Grace (already married) had two babies, Charity got married & had two babies, Doris got married & had three babies, Viviane got married, had a baby & is now divorced. Mom & Dad are still together, they sold the family home in SC and bought their retirement home in the NC mountains, they travel every year to India doing the missions work they love!
Mom & Dad in 1969
We are all going to be together this weekend ~ I think we are all excited and a little anxious as we are all very different individuals! Put any 8 grown women in a room and not all of them will agree, get along or even like each other! I am not sure if some of us would even know each other, aside from the fact that we are sisters, we have nothing in common, don't travel in the same cirles, don't believe the same things, don't raise our children the same way, I could go one and on about our vast differences but I am more inclined to focus on how awesome it is that we are all ALIVE, Healthy, Happy & We all LOVE each other! That in itself is a miracle!!

I used to have nightmares about one of us getting kid napped when we were younger, Mom always did a head count ~ We 'lost' a few over the years in stores or by leaving them sleeping in a car, but nothing that was not easily remedied!
I always liked the Russian Dolls, reminded me of me & my sisters, all alike, 8 little blondes in a row all dressed alike...
Being the oldest, I got to welcome each of them into the world. By the time the last 2 were born I was pretty much over it, I didn't want any more sisters.....I would not trade any one of them for all the wealth in the world...We are 8 sisters strong and even though we may not agree, we are always there for each other in the whatever way we can be, doing what we can to help the other out. 
I know if needed, any one of us would do whatever we could to help the other, because we love each other ~ Johnson Sisters, ALL for one and ONE for ALL!
Unfortunately, I have put my family through more Hell than most of the girls....just a brief history (bear with me as I go down memory lane for a moment) I left home a month before my 18th birthday, moved to NC and had very little contact with my family for about a year ( I was angry and bitter about everything)....My baby sister Viviane was just 5 years old so I missed out on her growing up more than any of the others. I got married that Winter & 2 years later had a son, the first grand baby and the first BOY!! Less than 2 years later, I was a single mom having no tolerance for a cheating husband! I went back to SC and my younger sisters were a lifesaver for me, taking turns watching my son as I worked 2 and/or 3 jobs sometimes to make ends meet.

Skeletons in the closet, we all have them...
I dated my 2nd ex husband for many years, first moved to FL then moved back to NC where I learned how to be a successful single woman & mom on my own ~ I moved to FL again, that is where he is from & once again had very little contact with my family ~ I got married a second time because I was pregnant (never a good reason, NEVER) He was very abusive in every way and as the years passed the abuse worsened. I hate to say, my family had to sit on the sidelines and watch the slow motion train wreck that was my life, It went on for over 10 years.....I self medicated with alcohol and my adult behavior was questionable at times, it took me a long time to leave him and even longer to get the help I needed to be the strong independent women my family knew me to be!! I always knew they were praying for me...even when I didnt know how to pray for myself!!
I stayed in FL working hard, going to therapy, attending self help groups, bonding with my rugrats, staying focused on being a good mom; I had given up on Love and that was when I reunited with my Mr. Man! He was the first man in the house aside from our Dad, All my sisters remembered him and he has fit into our family comfortably.

During some of the darkest moments in my life, It was my family that was there to rescue me, lift me up, give me a place to live, and at times even take care of me & my children. It was hard for them to see me battered and bruised and then watch as I would return for was incomprehensible!! Yet, No matter how different we are, how many fights we have had or how much we tend to disagree, My sisters were ALWAYS there for me as much as they could be and without them, I would not be here today, steady and strong, kinder and gentler. forgiving and accepting ~ I guess I finally grew up....
It was just 2 years ago I gave them all a big scare when I fell 2 stories to the pavement, crushing my right ankle, left hand & shattered left eye socket ~ I could have died that night. I am no longer a dare devil, although I don't think I will ever be afraid of heights!When I was in the hospital, I found in my purse, handwritten notes addressed to each one of my sisters. Tears streamed down my face as I realized that those notes could have been the last ones they ever received from me! Thankfully, I am still able to write them letters & notes.....
This weekend will be filled with fun & Laughter and I am sure a sprinkle of tears will be mixed in too, you can't have an unemotional day with 8 women in the same room.  I got more personal about my own life in this blog, it felt good to write it all down, felt even better to be reminded of how awesome my sisters are, they have never let me down! I am Blessed beyond Measure ~ God has been Good to us all!!

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