Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday; The Swint Family

Today I am SO thankful for FAMILY . I have been blessed with an amazing one and I am so grateful..
I have one sister and two brothers:

Mark is my oldest brother. Today is his birthday and he is 59! YIKES, I have an OLD brother! He is an airline pilot, a captain to be exact, with United Airlines and my entire life I knew that's what he would grow up to be! That's all he ever talked about as a kid. I am 5 years younger and have always looked up to him. He is BRILLIANT...a GENIUS and I'm not kidding. He has more useless knowledge in his head than anyone I know, but that's what makes him so interesting. He retains everything he reads. He is a published author, his book is called "Compare Isaiah" which I think is now available at Deseret Book. He also has another book in the works which will hopefully be published very soon. Mark is married to my wonderful sis-in-law, Peggy, and is the father of 4 incredible children. Not only is he brilliant, but he actually has a sharp wit and great sense of humor. He was greatly blessed with the gift of gab and generously shares that gift! Mark is creative beyond measure. He makes me laugh, he lifts me when I'm down and he is an example of strength and resiliency. Check out his websites and and AND and his blog WHEW!!

Carol is my baby sister. She is a nurse and is the kindest, sweetest woman I know! I know that she hates when I say that, but it's true. She is funny and really makes me laugh. Carol got married at such a young age to her husband, Jamie, and together they have 3 amazing children. She did lose a sweet little boy, Kevin, just one month after he was born but she handled that loss with grace and strength. Carol and Jamie have lived in many different places, including Holland, London, The Bay area of California, Memphis and currently live in Phoenix. She has become a world traveler of sorts. When I think of my sister, I think of goodness. She is just flat out GOOD! She is the type of woman who will drop anything for you because she cares more deeply than most people can even begin to imagine. Carol is amazing and even though she is 3 years younger than me, I have ALWAYS looked up to her as a role model!

Paul is my baby brother. Paul is tall, dark and VERY handsome! He is sweet, funny and very cool. As a little boy, Paul was precocious and daring. He was always in the hospital with some ridiculous injury from any one of his death-defying adventures. He has taken me on ski trails that, although they were very fun, they almost put me in a wheelchair...he skied them with ease and grace, I put on a yard sale! I always felt so protective of Paul. He didn't always make the best decisions and often put me in some precarious positions, but I love that he has always had a zest for life and seemed to always embrace the unknown. He is married to my adorable sis-in-law, Jayme and has 5 children. Paul and I were always so close. When we used to travel together, we used to pretend that we were flight attendants on a layover. He loves to ski, fish and ride dirt bikes. He's the consummate outdoors man and I adore him.

My mother and father are still alive. My dad has horrendous health but still has his mind and wit. He is strong and continues to give me great counsel and advice from the confines of his wheelchair. I love my dad and know that his days are numbered, but value each one that I am blessed with.

My mom is incredible. She is a go-getter to the max! At age 79 (in 3 days) she still plays the violin full-time in the Utah Symphony with no sign of slowing down. She is strong and loving. She is generous with sharing her gifts and talents and I so appreciate that in her. Her example of womanhood has been a standard in my life. People love her. She's a wonderful woman.

The family dynamic is crazy to me. We know everything about each other, our qualities and our faults yet we all love each other. I have come to learn that many families estrange themselves from each other when they have a disagreement rather than fight to work it out. They would rather spend months or even years not speaking just because they are too proud to say two precious little words, "I'm Sorry". That is tragic to me and actually pretty disgusting. Family should stick together no.matter.what because in the end, that's ALL we really have!

Fortunately that doesn't happen in my family. We are all SO different yet we generally get along very well. Sometimes we drive each other nuts and when that happens, we duke it out, apologize and FORGIVE. We are always there to support, encourage and bouy anyone who needs it. Although we are all geographically scattered, I know that I can always pick up the phone and any one of them will be there for me. I can truly count on all of them and for that, I am so blessed.

Thank you for letting me post about my family. I know that at age 53 I am so fortunate to even have them all living. I also know that time marches on and that any one of us can go at any time. But for now we are all just happy to be in this goofy family of ours!


CASSIE said...

Hi! I happened to stumble upon your blog, and have been reading it for a while. I just wanted to let you know, that I think you are a very beautiful woman, full of class and graciousness.

I really appreciated your blog post today :)

I too have an amazing family like your own, and feel blessed to be a part of it every day. I wouldn't be who I am, without anyone of them in my life! I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation and for the blessings that come from the Temple :)

Sadly, I can also relate to your comments about families who let foolish feuds rift them apart.

My "other" family is very much like that. It has been going on for years... long before I ever married into their circle.

Sometimes (more than I like) I find myself caught in the middle of such petty and awkward situations. It can be quite challenging in not being manipulated to "choose" sides.

However, I always think of the scripture found in Romans 14:19 "Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another."

It is so helpful for me to be reminded, of where the spirit of love comes from, and where the spirit of contention comes from!

No longer do I let myself "choose" sides... now I just let myself choose to be a "peacemaker."
Even if that means walking away. Even if that means standing up for what is right. Even if that means I have to love at a distance.
Being offended will always come, if being prideful shows up first.

Thank you for giving me another glimmer of hope for the future. I know that perhaps one day- things will all work out for the best for everyone. Maybe not today. Perhaps not even tomorrow. But that if I continue to be Christlike, it WILL happen one day!

Love Being a Nonny said...

Thank you for sharing about your family. My family means the world to me. Unfortunately, my husband's family has a *family disagreement* going on that is very difficult. I love it when people recognize how wonderful their family is!

Lynn said...

Oh how fun! I enjoyed getting to know your family a bit more.

Your mother looks SO young!!! I can see where you get is from. ; D