You know when you see a family and there is not a single doubt in your mind that they are biologically related? Well that is how my mom and her sisters are/were: The Inscho Girls. If we are all honest, the genes extend to some of our cousins. And since I look like my mom, I guess that makes me a part of the gene pool too.
I rest in that identity because it has always given me a sense of belonging that I can be proud of. My grandma, my mom and my aunts are four of the most INCREDIBLE women I know. Christy and Kelly, my aunts, have been lovin’ on me since I was born. I have lived with both of them at various different points in time and they have impacted me in those moments and many more.
When my mom passed away, they lost their sister. I didn’t know my mom as well as they did. The three of them had grown up beside one another. They had bickered and loved as sisters do. In so many ways their loss was significantly magnified in losing someone they knew so deeply, whereas a large portion of mine was not just in losing her, but all that I had yet to learn and would never get to. In the midst of their extreme loss they both reached out to me in their subtle non-affectionate ways. (Know I am laughing here because this is another generational pattern in our family).
Christy and Dillan added onto their house and created a room that I could stay in if I chose to. The sweetest part about this room, was that they made it thinking it would be a place for me, but it ended up being a place for the most perfect unexpected gift: Miss Rylee. They never pushed this on me but simply let it be an option if I needed it. I struggled so much with losing my home and transitioning to living somewhere else, all the while processing my mom’s death, and this made me feel so incredibly loved. Christy also initiated dinner once a week. I would go over to her house for dinner and “learn” to cook. *still working on the learning part
I enjoyed having an escape from the chaos of the big household I was living in at my grandma’s at the time. Essentially it was a whining escapade. The icing on the cake to whining to my aunts is they don’t care. They don’t care in two ways. First, they don’t care if you whine. Second, they literally don’t care about your whining. I think there is a very teachable lesson in there somewhere, but my brain is too tired to process it for you in words. You got it right?
With Christy there is always laughs and many of those Thursdays where I was supposed to be learning to cook ended with a lot of playful banter about my inabilities to cook and how it would drastically impact my future as “wife material.” I would like to publicly say that my cooking gets better with age.
During this time my aunt Kelly and I also developed a special relationship. She was building her barn….(my family all lives in barn houses)…so she lived at my grandparents. She always included me with her four children on the holidays. My first Christmas morning without my mom was spent with my aunt and cousins. The most cherished part of this time with her were the long hours spent sitting in her bedroom talking about my mom and the grieving process. My aunt Kelly has a very quiet nature and at the time I not only found her gentle conversation uplifting but also transforming. We learned so much from one another just through those deep conversations.
As time has gone on, I have developed stronger relationships with both of them. I like them more than most people. We garage sale together, goodwill together (especially during Christmas time for lights….do a drive by sometime…haha..jk that’s weird), we go to auctions and other completely random events. We have our little 4-H club and share our love for horses. I love trail riding with them and evening rides as a whole fam. We day dream about our next traveling adventures and we are constantly making fun of one another.
And even in these moments of “doing” I never am able to forget how strong they both are. I look back at all they have gone through and I am humbled that they each choose to face tomorrow not just for their own sake, but for ours. They have endured death to degrees that no one should have to face: sister,son, nephew, loved ones. In those deaths, they have always pushed us to believe that what we do from that point on can be a true representation of all of the living they never got to experience. Selflessness; to live for those who couldn’t. I am motivated everyday to live for Tory and my mom. To live a life they would have enjoyed. That mindset…that courage…it came from Kelly and Christy.
In our family, touchy feely moments are gone in the blink of an eye…it would only be fitting that this post is the same.
As littles we, the Inscho Tribe, roamed the 100 acre forest without much supervision…..and we often found ourselves in big trouble. Like trouble you might not believe because well we lived on a lot of land,with a lot of animals; with a lot of opportunities.
And what fun is it if I don’t continue to share some of those adventures every now and again.
I decided to do Sammy’s hair on one of my days that Christy babysat me. I used horse rubber bands…because thats what we have in our houses…and I got them stuck in her hair. So naturally, you avoid telling the adult and just cut it off…not noticeable at all…I got grounded…by Christy. She is to this day the only person who has grounded me. I was (still am) more of a just look at me in disappointment and I’ll burst into tears type of gal. She grounded me from the TV…my cousins would laugh at this because I wasn’t that interested in the TV as a kid (still not). It was a daily struggle to get them to play with me if one of their favorite cartoons were on. Even so, this took her down several notches in the cool factor for quite a long time. And occasionally she threatens to ground me as an adult…it’s usually for not doing something cool and fun…I can be a major party pooper.
Cousin shenanigans usually occurred right before or during the time in which we were supposed to be doing something important….like going to a rideout. We were given a time to be ready…with our horses…that were to be cleaned…and our tack which was to be put in the trailer….Chief Kolton told us that it was for the greater good of all to stay and nurture the land. We, under the direction of our chief, chose to hide in the woods from my aunt Kelly so that we could play instead of going to the rideout. Did I mention we have a lot of woods? She knew we were hiding…I giggle quite loud and the cliffs make it echo, but she couldn’t find us. She went so far as to hunt us down on the four wheeler, but screamed in defeat that we were in BIG trouble and she would be waiting. Clearly it wasn’t big enough trouble because I don’t remember the consequence.
There are so many stories and inside jokes that connect all of us in our dorky way and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Christy has a joke that she has overused…the two for one deal in her pocket…and I laugh everytime…I laugh too much. Obnoxiously…but its more like a squeak…anywayyyy….my two for one deal isn’t in my pocket…it’s my two beautiful aunts. (They are pretty hot for being dinosaurs, too).
When I struggle to feel like I don’t have a family of my own or that I don’t really fit in anywhere because of the absence of my mom, I am reminded consistently that my aunts love me, support me, and believe in me. Their strength is something I can’t even articulate in words.
I like to believe that I carry a little bit of all three of them inside my heart. And when the milestones come that will be hard to not have my mom by my side…I know that they and my grandmother will be right there with me.
I hope I am a hot and strong dinosaur like you guys one day, but with less “natural” highlights. HA! I love you.
Till Heavens End,