Thank goodness for family.


This photo caught my eye a few months back as my mom, sister, my cousin and I were browsing through some old family photos. This is my great, great Uncle Joe, my sweet grandmother, Mary and some man with a cool hat. I think he was Uncle Joe’s brother. And check out those huge ginormous fish. Can you believe those fish? By the look on my grandmother’s face she wasn’t very fond of those stinkin’ things. They’re almost as big as her.

Uncle Joe was married to Aunt Ally. They had no children until they took my grandmother and her two brothers in to be part of their family. My grandmother’s father had died and her mother, my great grandmother, became too ill to take care of her children. (Is that all straight and everything? A little confusing I know.)

This portrait is my grandmother and her two brothers as children. That older brother looks serious, doesn’t he?


Here they all are as one big happy family. Well, they look kinda grumbly in this picture but I think it’s because the sun’s in their eyes. And it’s hard to smile outside in S.C. in the summertime heat, let me tell ‘ya…


Can you imagine how difficult it must’ve been at times? I’m so glad for Uncle Joe and Aunt Ally’s servant’s hearts as I wonder what might have come of my grandmother and her siblings if they had not been there to care for them. I wish I could thank them now.

That’s what family is for isn’t it? To sometimes make sacrifices. To pull each other up. Dust each other off. And help each other onward. And to love. Can’t forget love.

Oh, and when they are old to wipe their hineys.

(But Mom, Dad…you know, if you could work it out somehow to have a hiney wiper, I’d much appreciate it. I can wipe your nose, clean, cook some tasty grub for you and even fix you a nice comfy place in my own home, but I’ve gotta lot of growing up to do for all that other wiping stuff… just sayin’.)

And sure, family can drive us crazy. I should know as I’ve done my share of crazy driving. None of us are perfect. But when the going gets rough, it’s usually family that’s there to lend a hand, hold us up and stick in there ’til the end. And I’m very thankful for that. I’m also thankful for all of the Uncle Joe’s and Aunt Ally’s out there.

So with Thanksgiving just around the corner, what is it about your family that you are thankful for? Are they always there to share an encouraging word? Do they watch your children so you can have a date night? Help with housework? Or have they already bought long-term hiney wiping care?

Whatever it is, please share. I so look forward to reading each and every comment and I know others do too.

If I forget to say it next week, Happy Thanksgiving! Gobble! Gobble!

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  1. 1


    What a beautiful post, Amy. I can assure you that when hiney-wiping time comes, you can and will step up to the plate. My mom has been dead for 4 years and during the last several years of her life, I went to her apartment everyday after work, gave her a bath, dressed her, cooked our supper, did her laundry and grocery shopping and even wiped her hiney a few times. Everything goes full circle and you’ll remember what your parent(s) did for you as a child and you will do for them as your adult/child. Nothing you ever do can repay your parent(s) for what they did for you and yes, even hiney wiping. My mom would always say to me, “Martha, how can I ever repay you.” My answer would always be that it was me that was repaying her and she should only say “Thank you.” I don’t know you well, but have gotten an insight into your character through your blog and know that you will definitely do the same. My only regret now is that I wasn’t able to do it longer. ~Martha

  2. 2

    Sandy says

    Amy, I couldn’t wait to read your thoughts about the pictures. I couldn’t have said it better if I had tried!

    I’ve often thought of what wonderful and generous people Uncle Joe and Aunt Ally were to take our Grandmother and her siblings and give them a loving and stable home. It makes me appreciate my family even more!

    I’ve always looked at those pictures as a mystery to solve. There is something about them that speaks to me. Maybe because they are family and they are all gone, yet I long to know them better.

    Thanks for the great post!!~Sandy

  3. 3


    What a beautiful post! Family are so important and we so often forget that. We forget also to tell family how wonderfully important they are to us. Thank you for reminding me.

  4. 4

    Nanny says

    Family! Present and past. What a joy-what encouragement-what help! Our family is close even when some live far away. When needed, you can’t throw the dish water out without drenching them. Family meetings, our family is not afraid to speak up and give us opinions. That’s how we bought the farm – encouragement, trust, offers of help if needed and help they did. Emergencies and they are here – Amy drove a big tractor when Pa had heart surgery (I don’t think she had ever driven a tractor) – our family, church family and community family helped prepare land, plant corn and have a big feast for lunch. Two hi-school boys skipped school to help. Randy and Jerry were there,too. Mike baby-sat Pa, Eydie my nurse, Cindy my bookkeeper and gopher when I had brain surgery.
    These are just a very few examples in our family.

    I thank God for all of you and our thanks and all our love go near and across the miles to ALL MY FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. 5

    Mom says

    I love this story. Family means a lot and being there for each other is part of what it is all about. But don’t worry, we do have a long term care plan for “hiney wipers”. (Who knows by then I may have that Butterfly for real. You’ll have to wait and see.)

    Amy, seriously I feel certain that if you were needed you’d be there. You always have been.

    When you think about it God has been good to our family and has blessed us in many ways. We have so much to be thankful for. Our greatest blessing He gave your Daddy and I is our family. Starting with two daughters that are beautiful both inside and out. Then two wonderful son-in-laws and lastly but not least five precious grandchildren. And when we look back at our ancestors we are very thankful for their courage, unconditional love and Christian heritage that has influenced us all, these things we continue to hold dear.

    It is our prayer that all families will enjoy the holidays and realize that time spent with family is time not spent, but time invested in making fond memories that will last a life time.

    Happy Turkey Day

  6. 6


    Oh wow, I can’t even begin to say what I’m thankful for with my family. I’m so thankful of how my parents raised me, not letting me go to co-ed sleepovers when I wanted to, and never supporting getting the tattoo I wanted for 3 seconds (I never got one). I am so blessed that there is NO divorce in my family at all – not even extended family, cousins, etc.

    And I love looking at all the old ‘grumpy’ photos we have to. Everyone always look so mean!!!

  7. 7

    Denise says

    I am so blessed with loving, generous parents and in-laws who are like another set of parents to me. Family is priority on both sides…vacationing and spending time together regularly. There is always lots of laughter and fun! I’m so thankful, also, for the heritage of faith that has been passed down through the generations on both sides.

  8. 8

    cbp says

    One aspect of family that I am so enjoying in this season of life is the blessing of friendship with all three of my young adult children. We so enjoy spending time together, reading the same books, watching movies and then talking about them, taking day trips to the mountains or spending time at their place, just hanging out. Knowing that they want me to be a part of their lives is a gift. And the fact that God has given me 3 beautiful and funny grandchildren to enjoy is so much fun!

  9. 9


    I am so thankful and so grateful for my daughter, who gives me what I experienced so little of before her — pure, unconditional love. She is the most precious gift.

    Happy Thanksgiving Everybody.

  10. 10

    Debbie @TheHipHostess says

    Such a heart warming story to read, and you said it all so well. I believe you have captured the feelings of so many of us, as we all have heard of similar tales in our own family. My mom’s mother left her and her sisters when she was 7, she and her father then lived with his parents, her grandparents. To this day, she says those were the happiest days of her childhood and she thanks God for the love, and kindness of her grandparents. I know how very blessed I am to be surrounded by so many people who love and support me. My family, and my friends make a very rich person indeed, and I’m ever so grateful to have them in my life.

  11. 12

    Ashley from The Motherboard says

    What a beautiful family and a great post! Happy Thanksgiving!

    ~ Ashley from the Motherboard (

  12. 15

    Michelle (What's Cooking) says

    Love these old photos, Amy. I found a bunch of photos in my grandmother’s house and scanned them – they line the walls of our stairwell at home.

  13. 16

    Kristen says

    Family is the best thing… I wish we had family close!
    I love old photos…my sister is big into genealogy and has collected so many great photos.

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