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Patrick’s family portrait

Our nephew Ben, my sisters-in laws, Anjelica and Yvonne.

It’s so easy to take our families for granted. And to take time for granted. This is what Patrick (and the kids and I too) recently when his aunt passed away a few days ago.

This is an aunt on Patrick’s birth father’s side. In easier terms: His dad’s sis. Patrick’s mom and dad were parents at 16, married and divorced 8 months later. They were so young! Patrick’s mom raised him, she remarried a few years later and her new husband adopted him and became his dad throughout his childhood. All was happy!

Patrick saw his real dad (what’s the politically correct way to say that? Birth dad? Baby daddy?) again in high school, and but more than a decde passed when that chance came up again. Now another decade has passed, and we were once more reunited with Patrick’s dad, only this time it was for the funeral. Even though we didn’t Patrick’s aunt Sylvia very often – once or twice – we knew she was a beautiful woman with a big heart who loved to dance and sing. We learned this because Patrick’s dad and his family told us all about her.

Despite the tears over losing Sylvia, there was a lot of hugs, smiles and laughter in our house the past few days when Patrick’s dad came and spent time with us. His daughters brought their kids and spouses. Patrick’s grandma came as well, plus other aunts and even his ex-stepmom too!

Patrick and I both have loving, supportive families thatlive 10 minutes away from us. But connecting with a whole new set of relatives is amazing. It was like finding that last missing puzzle piece and going “Ah! That’s where that came from!”

So here are somepictures from when we all worked late into the night making memorial display for Sylvia’s services. We ordered pizza, shared stories, scrapbooked and swore to stay in touch, for real this time. When it came time for the funeral, Patrick’s mom came and offered her condolences to her former husband whom she hadn’t seen in, um like 30-some years? They shook hands and chatted. We all felt a sense of healing. Family bonding time does wonders for the soul. I know Sylvia is delighted that we all came together to honor and celebrate her life. Rest in peace, chica. May your light continue to shine from here to eternity.

More crafting!

Rosie, Grandma Lujan, Annie and mas….

Our brother-in-law, Ben, and Patrick’s dad.

Author of Crafty Chica’s Art de la Soul: Glittery Ideas to Liven Up Your Life ($19.95, Rayo Books, an imprint of Harper Collins).

Yolanda King

Trauma Mama: Respect the Hot Knife


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