The F-Word–Family

I have the best family in the world, not the sanest, but by far the most loving. There were nine of us born to Forest and Clara in a little town in Minnesota called Fertile. (I’m not kidding.)

When my family celebrates, we feast, the Easter function at my sister’s house this year had over one hundred folks there. I counted one-hundred-four family members and friends and tables full of food.

When there’s an illness, not just the hearts reach out, but the bodies too. When my eldest sister was on her deathbed, every one of my brothers and sisters came to support one another. They came from Montana, Idaho, and different parts of California. We all huddled together in the hospital waiting room for five days. And when Sissy passed away we were all together circled around her bedside fingers entwined.

When there’s work to be done, they all pitch in. When someone has a dream they all encourage it. When someone gets married, graduates, is released from jail (I never claimed perfection), signs a book contract like “The Advocate,” or gets a job, no matter how big or small the event, this family cares and supports. That’s not to say we don’t fuss at one another. We have our share of feuds and fights, but eventually the love always overcomes.

We are one big, and I do mean big (at last count, I had one-hundred-fourteen nieces and nephews, that includes great-nieces and nephews), happy (most of the time) family—now that’s a Fertile family!

  1. Wow! 114 nieces and nephews? I bet your family reuinions are absolutely crazy. It sounds like you have an awesome family that is a blessing in itself.

  2. We call them Family “Onions”…they’d make a normal person cry. We had one last summer in Helena, Montana and 185 were there (family and their significant others). We counted about 50 “relaticks” (as my niece calls them) that were missing.

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