Live, Love, Blend:
Celebrating Life And Family Bonds

When a loved one leaves this life, it gives us cause to reflect on the impact one person can make, especially on a family.

We did just that on Sunday as family from all across the country gathered in Nebraska to celebrate the life of my grandmother, Bettie King.

My grandma was an extremely important person in my life, becoming even more so in the years that followed my mom’s 2nd marriage. I was a teenager at the time and felt as though I’d lost the mother I once knew. Every summer I would travel to Nebraska, as I’d done all my life, and grandma and I would spend countless hours talking about this new normal that was my blended family. She became more of a mother than a grandmother, and our bond continued to grow stronger through the years, to the point that when she died all I could think to say was, “she was my person”.

– My Grandma was my hero.  GEM blogger Dave Manoucheri has another great story about heroes Our Story Begins: Who is Your Hero?

I thought the trip to Nebraska would be heartbreaking. I thought it might be the last time my family would have a reason to bring all the aunts and uncles and cousins to the middle of corn country to gather together. I thought our bond was broken without our matriarch.

I am happy to say I was wrong. Grandma’s legacy is a strong one!


Our family gathered, cried a little, sang a lot, talked a lot, hugged a lot. We all realized that our family bonds are not confined to this earth. And they aren’t limited to blood either. My two sisters (from that 2nd marriage of my moms) joined me on this trip and the three of us discovered one more gift grandma left us, a family willing to embrace each other no matter what. My heart is so full after watching these two precious women interact with all the extended family I grew up with. I may have more history, but we all share the love.

-for more on the development of this sister relationship, see “How My Sister and I dropped the Step from Step-Sisters”

We are all returning to our various parts of the country now, knowing that we have a true family, and that we will all gather again (though perhaps not in Nebraska).  We have a common bond with people who do not judge us based on who our parents are, or aren’t.  In fact, they don’t judge us at all.

Thank you Grandma Bettie King for your legacy of love. I know these 3 women are returning stronger.

Strong women, strong family, strong coffee.  We are blended.