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  • Writer's pictureMary McRoberts



fam·i·ly (fam(ə)lē)


  1. a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household.

  2. all the descendants of a common ancestor.

That’s all Mr. Webster? I’d like to add #3.

3. a group of friends who choose to behave in positive, familial ways of unconditional love and support (often lifesaving)

I’ve often written and spoken about our friends. They are the best. Time and time again, they choose to be there for us.

My father died last week. He was a huge man, despite his 85 year old frail body. He was huge in personality through his light-hearted humor, classic one-liners and abundant kindness. He lived with us for more than 8 years, right across the driveway, in his very own Casita. My mother was with him the first year and a half. We had so much fun and made tons of memories on their Casita porch. These memories will stay in our hearts forever. He invented, in my mind, “porch sitting”, the #1 amenity at Hill Country Casitas.

Dad would sit on his porch and do crossword puzzles, play solitaire, enjoy a cocktail at 5:00pm, and watch Ron and me run in and run out with our busy, overloaded schedules, shaking his head. I’m sure we exhausted him with the pace of our lives. He would also thoroughly enjoy our many friends coming and going. These friends would stop in and see my Dad, “Dickie”, before coming in to our house. I’m not sure what all they talked about most of the time, but since many are nurses, I bet it was often medical related. And there is weather which is always fun to talk about, and how many days left in the month, and his beloved Miata, or how Dripping is growing….

As my father was on his way to a new life last week, these friends sat with us and held his hand and spoke “sweet nothings” to him and reminisced of the good times. These friends are our chosen family, an undeserving complement to our great, and growing, family. We are eternally grateful for them and so many others who love us and loved Dickie.

Dad loved Broadway musicals. A line from one of my favorite tunes in Les Miserables: “…to love another person is to see the face of God.” Well, we have seen God. We have seen Him in our friends’ love of my father, us and our Casitas, and in Dad’s love for them.

RIP Dad – we love you forever!

Now, where’s that porch? We’ve got some sittin’ to do!

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