John and I just returned home from a lovely summer vacation in the Colorado mountains with a brief stop in Santa Fe on our drive back to Oklahoma. In Colorado, my two brothers and sisters-in-law (whom I really just call sisters because that is what they are to me), had purchased a week in a cabin in the Sangre de Cristo mountains in SE Colorado. The purchase was actually a donation to a very special organization called Wings of Hope—a shelter and place of safety and healing for women and children who suffer from domestic violence. And so, we were able to support a worthy cause, enjoy a part of nature’s finest beauty, and spend some quality time together as a family. Pretty good combination.

I love my brothers and sisters and consider them my very best friends. Throughout the years, we have turned to one another for fun, support, friendship, and unconditional love. Sure, as kids we fought, argued, teased, and drove our parents nuts. But over the years, we became closer and closer. We are always there for one another through thick and thin. We laugh together, cry together, play together, mourn together.

Any kind of relationship takes effort, commitment, and time. We make a concerted effort to get together, to call each other, remember birthdays, anniversaries, special events and holidays. We care about each other’s children and have from the day they were born.. We nurtured relationships with the kids while they were growing up—and do so today as they develop careers, homes, and relationships of their own.

I know that what I’ve described above is not true for all sibling relationships, but I am so grateful this is true for me—and for my husband, John. His sister and brother are like my own—and my two brothers are like his own.

Throughout my blog, I will be writing about the experiences we siblings have had in providing care for our aging parents and how we handled their loss at that time of transition for our beloved mother and father. So many of us are dealing with this issue in our lives, and I want to share some of the learning I have experienced in this vital area of life. Be looking for those posts.

In the meantime, while this time of vacation was delightful—it’s good to be back home on the ranch. Yes, Dorothy, you are right: “There’s no place like home.”