Miracles,Blessings and the neighborhood bonnie
Please enjoy this story while you play and listen to the video. I want to give you a little glimpse of what our family is like. Sit back, relax and enjoy Louis Armstrong.
Our bonfire means so much to my family. Let me take you on a journey of what my family looks like now, after divorce. Do not feel bad either, because I am so happy now. I am not with the father of my children anymore because of violence and that's another story. Read my hub on that if you are interested, it is called, "The Whisper that became a roar."
Anyway, Back in 2002, the judge had my ex husband removed from our home. This is the home my children have lived in since they were babies. I had been begging and begging my twin sister to move in with us since it would be a great thing all around. It would be good for me since I was now single, it would be good for my kids because they adore their auntie mamma (or my identical twin sister) and it would be good for auntie since she had been living alone just twenty minutes away. Don't get me wrong, aunt had come over everyday to see my darling kids and myself. I knew that having her live with us would be such a great support for everyone involved and just make sense overall.
In 2004, my lovely and courageous twin sister was diagnosed with lung cancer, despite the fact that she never smoked. Of course, our world shattered, but an amazing thing happened. Remember my daily begging for my twin sister (better known to you all as Minnetonka), to move in with us? Well, once she was diagnosed, had her lung taken out, and lay on her hospital bed, she ended up making my dream come true. This is our story of what happened.....
A young surgeon at the hospital got his ego in a bunch and launched into my twin sisters room and declared, like he was
"all that": (Now you must know that my twins head surgeon was not in town and the co-surgeon was not supposed to reveal her path report). Here is what the young, overzealous doctor said.....
" Hi Linda, I know your recovering from your surgery but your path report has come back and it shows that the lung cancer spread to your trachea and bronchi lymph nodes. Instead of being of stage one like we thought, you are now stage three. You have a 20-25% chance of surviving this within the next five years."
My poor twin was without any family at the time. Ughhhh! I still can't believe someone would be so insensitive. They rushed in the chaplain who spoke with her about the difficult news. Linda felt like she was definitely going to die.
It was that day I sped to her bedside and she wept and cried out, "Laura, can I live with you?"
When Linda got home from the hospital (her new home with us) here are some simple things twinner requested if she were to die. I want to live with my twin and her two babies, I want a garden, a hammock, a dog, and a bonfire. I joyfully gave her everything her heart desired. I am very confident as I write this because Linda will be seven years no cancer this next St. Patrick's Day.
I used to own a cabin up in northern Wisconsin. My family loved this cabin so much. I assessed quite quickly that to leave a terrorizing marriage and selling the cabin was worth every penny since I was able to keep my home for my kids and I.
Once Linda moved in, we all made the decision as a family to bring the cabin in Wisconsin to our beautiful in Minnesota. We accomplished this by building a bonfire, buying a hammock and many other amenities we had up North. We are so grateful to have this home and enjoy the bonfire and other blessings with all the neighbors.
We have a very close knit neighborhood. All of us watch over the children in the neighborhood and care so much about each other. It is such a blessing.
Last weekend, like many weekends, here at the cabin we brought to our home, we did what all the kids in the neighborhood call a "bonnie", better known as a bonfire. We put out all the fix ins for smores. We had Hershey bars, marsh-mellows, and graham crackers.
Picture this beautiful scene in your mind. Ten or more kids running in and out of the house getting juice boxes, kids putting their marshmellows in the fire, and playing yard games like ghost in the graveyard. Myself, Aunt, and neighbor parents socializing and having as much fun as the children.
I will tell you that my twin sister and I are giddy when we experience and watch the kids enjoy these nights at the bonfire. We know life goes so fast and the kids will grow up too soon. I can't believe they are already 12 & 14.
I know the icing on the cake is this: My twin sister is free of cancer and has been raising my children with me for six years. My children are stable after a very tough divorce because they have two moms in one house. We have God and each other to lean on and love living together. My kids tell aunt she can never leave or move out. Auntie feels so blessed to live in our beautiful home and we feel blessed to have her. We all needed each other and that was God's plan all along. I love that two of us can share in the work load, driving kids, and sharing the financial burden, but mostly, sharing all the love.
The kids and I tease Auntie and say to her often, "you did not want to live with us because you had such a great life as a single gal in your own apartment." This is the typical rebuttal from my twin sister:
"You children and your mom saved my life. I was blessed to move in this beautiful home when I was diagnosed. I did love my life as a single woman in my own apartment. I did not know how God would have a plan to give me so much joy. A plan I would not have come up with, but without the cancer, I may not have ever known the pure blessing you all gave to me. Living with you has been such a gift. I know it is your love and care that brought me through the cancer and that is why I am seven years cancer-free."
© Laura Rogers Arne