I come from a family of three kids - I am the oldest, my brother Jason is the middle, and my sister Ashley is the baby. Like all siblings, we had our differences (hello teenage years) but no matter what, we have always been there for each other. We have a very tight-knit family, even with my brother and his two beautiful little girls living in east Texas, we still manage to stay close. I believe it was the summer of 2005 that my sister officially came out to our family. I remember her being sick and having major stomach issues and it was suggested that she have some exploratory procedures done, my parents asked her if there was anything upsetting her, that she needed to get off of her chest. They just knew that she wasn't sick. She was literally burning holes in her stomach because she was so afraid of how her family would react to her "secret", but little did she know was that we already did know and it didn't bother us at all. We were just waiting for her to put it out there so she could be herself and be happy. It has never changed the way we felt about her in the least bit, we told her we loved her and support her. My little sister Ashley is one of the most loving, giving, thoughtful, sensitive, and naturally HILARIOUS people you will ever meet. She doesn't even have to try to be funny - it just happens.
In October 2007, my brother and his wife at the time, had their first child Emma. She was healthy, perfect and beautiful. She had two proud aunties in the room when she was born and we instantly fell in love with her. My husband Jeff and I were married just over a month later (November 24th) and our brother and his new little family moved just days later to Texas. On April 15, 2008 I found out that I was pregnant with my first child and my due date was Christmas Day. I had extreme morning sickness for 21 weeks...I was in and out of the ER for fluids and monitoring. My sister was there for me every moment that she could be. We were all thrilled when we found out that we were expecting a little boy, and his name was already picked out...Zane. On November 16, 2008 I was at home talking with my mom in the kitchen when my sister called her. She and her girlfriend at the time had been in a car accident. My sister was the passenger and they were t-boned by a full size pick up truck who had run a red light. She was crying, in pain, and terrified. We told her to have the paramedics take her to the hospital just to be safe and we would meet her there. We found out where they were taking her, and made it from Anthem to Maryvale Hospital in record time. When we arrived at the hospital, we were taken to the room they had her in, she was strapped to a board, in a c-collar neck brace and was not allowed to move. She had been there for quite some time and was miserable. They had done CT scans, and I remember when they came and told us that they were going to be transporting her to a trauma facility because she had suffered a cervical fracture. My baby sister's neck was broken. We had no idea what was going to happen next or what her prognosis would be. I was still about 4-5 weeks out from my due date, I was huge, uncomfortable, and now I was freaking out on the inside and trying to keep my cool and composure on the outside for my sister. I remember telling her that I love her, touching her hand because I didn't know what would happen if I kissed her on the cheek. I also knew as much as I wanted to follow that ambulance to the trauma facility they were taking her to, I needed to go home because I was having contractions. I quietly told my mom and she urged me to call my husband and go home and rest. My husband ended up taking me to the hospital and they had to give me medication to stop the contractions. Eventually they stopped, and I was able to go home and try to rest again. Resting was an impossible task for me, I am a chronic worrier by nature, and all I could think/worry about was my sister. My parents called and gave us updates. They told us that they had my sister sedated and that her surgeon decided that he was going to put her in a halo device. I was able to go up to the hospital and see my sister after the halo was placed. I remember she made me come over by her so she could touch my belly and make sure that Zane was still in there. She was going to be in the room when he was born and she was making sure she didn't miss it. Seeing my sister in that state was so incredibly difficult and I started to experience contractions again. I quietly relayed this to my husband and my parents and we had to leave Banner Good Sam and drive to Banner Thunderbird. They stopped my contractions again and sent us home. My sister who was heavily medicated somehow picked up on this information as it was being discussed between my parents and her nurses. She kept telling them "she can't have that baby yet!". Several days later she was released from the hospital. She was not going to miss out on the birth of her first nephew. She was so excited to be an aunt again, and this was keeping her going.
On December 12, 2008, Zane Colin came into this world two weeks early at 8 pounds, 8 ounces. My sister was in that delivery room when he came into this world. She fought like hell to be there. She will also tell you that is the first time she fell in love with a boy. (It happened again on April 4, 2012 when Zane's little brother Maks was born.) The first time she held Zane, she had to have a blanket as a barrier between them so that the chest portion of the halo brace didn't hurt him. She would hold him as often as she could or sit next to whoever was holding him and touch/talk to him. The day she had the halo removed, she was able to hold him up against her, rock him and kiss him without assistance for the first time. These two have an incredible bond. They are the best of buds. They are always there for each other. She loves him like her own and he loves her right back. She has always been able to be herself around him, she has never had to hide who she was, or who she was dating. He is now 6 years old, in Kindergarten, and their bond is stronger than ever. She says that he is what kept her going, and he will tell you he saved her life.
She is dearly loved by all 4 of her nieces and nephews and they call her Aunt Boo. If she walks into the house little voices erupt "AUNT BOO!!!" She has rock star status in their eyes.
My sister and I participated in the Pride Run 5k this past weekend and then planned on attending the Pride Festival afterwards. Zane and my husband Jeff were there at the finish line cheering for us when we were done. (Little brother Maks (3) was at home with Grandma and Papa - he's cute, but he's a handful these days! He loves and adores his Aunt Boo Boo just like his brother.) Zane is sporting a neon orange cast these days because he recently fractured his right elbow while dancing and rocking out to his favorite Fall Out Boy song while standing on his drum set stool. A broken chicken wing didn't stop Zane from showing off his dance moves at the Pride Festival. We had lots of requests for pictures with him and someone even gave him money for his awesome show. LOL. His first Pride was a success.
If you ask him what "gay" means, he will tell you "love". He knows that his Aunt Boo is gay, that she likes women, and that one day she will fall in love and marry a woman. He knows that some girls marry girls, and some marry boys. He knows that the same goes for men. He doesn't view this as strange, weird, or unnatural - nor should he - he views it as LOVE. He is so proud of his Aunt, and isn't afraid to show or verbalize it. He amazes me every single day. We talked about the opposition and I warned him that not everyone at school may be nice about his fun weekend when he shares about it and might even have some not nice things to say. He told me "I will just tell them that I don't stand for hate, I stand for love!"
So proud to be his mommy!