Meet James ... a new friend. I met him just this afternoon at his great-grandmother's home. His Aunt called to invite me over to visit with her and her family so I took my camera and am very glad I did. His Aunt is a close friend I've known since high school. She now lives in Kentucky so we don't see each other very often. She comes from a large family, but unlike mine, all her siblings talk to one another ... at least most of the time. There are squabbles in the best of families I reckon.
Anyway, back to James. I asked him if I could take his picture and he said "Sure! I'll say cheese" and he did, more than once for more than one picture. He's a very sweet 7 year old who's had a difficult life as I learned from another of his aunts. He had been in 5 foster homes by the age of 2 when she & her husband were granted permanent custody. He's been with them for five years now and is a bit slow in learning, but what child wouldn't be with the life he started off with? His sweetness and honesty makes up for any lack he currently has.
As I took photos of this extended family I realized I've known them for 45 years. Their Dad died a year ago this month. Their oldest sister died a year ago in December. She was my age and fought cancer twice. As the oldest of eight children she was the organizer and second Mom to her siblings. Before dying she put everything on paper as to what she wanted done and even how much money she wanted her husband to spend on her funeral. He went over the allotted amount by the way, and felt a bit guilty. Had Claudia been able to speak, she would have chided him for going over budget. That's just how she was. But they loved each other for over 40 years. That's quite a testimony in today's world.
Her Mom & Dad had been married for 62 years when he died and so help me, I've never known a couple who loved as they did. When you saw one, the other was close by. She has grieved heavily since his death and I think I understand why. When you've been a part of someone for all those years, it must be like losing a part of yourself when they leave.
Before leaving I gave hugs & kisses to many of them, promised to get the pictures printed (which I did this afternoon thanks to the Internet & Walgreens) and said bye to James. He told me bye and gave me another grin before turning to ride his scooter again.
May James grow strong & healthy and one day meet a lady who will love him as his Great-Grandma loved his Great-Grandpa. May their love be strong enough to keep them together through any storm of life and may the good Lord bring him to a saving, keeping faith in Christ Jesus.