Ex O Ex O

This cross-stitch piece is a few decades old. I’ve never framed it but recently ran across it while unpacking yet another moving box, and decided it needed to come out for awhile. I used a vintage hanger and hooked it on the edge of a hallway mirror.

But I didn’t make this cross-stitch piece.

My first husband, Larry, did. It was a hobby we picked up together and enjoyed during the first few years of our marriage – pre kids. He figured if Green Bay Packer, Rosie Greer could crochet, then he could cross-stitch (while he also coached college football.) Turns out, Larry got really good at it.

Each time I hear a commercial or movie refer to the ‘new family unit’, I can hear the critics cringe and roll their eyes. I’m sure it sounds like a rationalization to alter the look of a traditional unit like family. However, those of us living in a non-traditional household know all too well the depth of its meaning. And are grateful for a the enormous amount of grace it takes.

Larry’s mother recently passed away. She had led a good, strong life but the past few years had stolen her identity through the horrors of dementia. Our daughter, Hannah, told me Mammaw had died during the night and later that day I texted Larry. We exchanged a few texts and then, just as I had done when my mother died, he wanted to talk.

Now for anyone who knows Larry, his phonecalls aren’t conducive to the quick trip through Home Depot I was currently on – so I asked if he could talk in about an hour.

Once I got home and settled, I plugged in my phone and got a little snack…I mentioned he’s a long talker, right?…and waited for his call. We discussed memories we’d remembered of her. Funeral plans and thoughts about what was ahead, etc. An hour and a half of easy, safe talk with someone with whom I share history.

Larry and I give each other a wide space, each respecting the other’s world and privacy. But we keep up. And occasionally, our non-traditional family unit builds yet another strong bridge of mutual connection.

As always, he asked about Scott and said to be sure to tell him hello from him. It’s not done out of show, but out of a true appreciation for the people who also co-parent our amazing children.

God bless our home.
God bless our past, present and future.

God continues to bless this big ol’ weird family.



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