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Doug Dezotell

Memories and Musings

Doug Dezotell is pastor of Cannon United Methodist Church and a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette.

Families share love, heartache

Sunday, November 12, 2017

There are seven of us abiding here in the "Dezotell Home for Dysfunctional Living."

Seven humans, one dog, and two cats; at least there is only one dog at this point.

Someone once said that there's nothing that makes you more insane than family. Or more happy. Or more exasperated. Or ... more secure.

I love my family. I don't care how poor a man is, if he has a family he's rich.

I came from a family of five children. My father was the oldest of 9, and my mother the youngest of 8.

Lynn is an only child, and her parents thought she should never have more than one child, too. But, she shocked them with three children and three grandchildren.

I remember when I was a little boy, Dr. Silverman, our pediatrician, made house-calls. I was sick quite a lot as a child and Dr. Silverman was a frequent guest in our home.

I felt special that I was the only one of the five kids that had a doctor come to see him.

Thankfully none of our children, or grandchildren, have been very sick and needed that kind of attention. But we are not drama-free.

So much of our lives are filled with family drama and a whole lot of family comedy. I know your lives are the same.

Life is often like that Chinese dish: sweet and sour.

I love the wonderful, whimsical insight of Erma Bombeck. She wrote, "The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together."

I received a wedding invitation several years ago from a young lady in Arizona that I have known since she was a little girl. I am thrilled for Joey that she has found a young man with whom she can make a family.

Joey's birth family lived out on the Navajo Reservation, and she spent the first part of her life living in a little three room house out on the desert with her alcoholic mother and her little brother and baby sister.

The three children were later placed in foster care at Naomi House in Jackrabbit, Arizona under the care of Sister Linda Thompson. Those three siblings spent much of their lives living with Linda and other foster children.

Joey's mother has since passed away, so she wasn't able to have her mom with her at her wedding. But, Linda was there with her. She was the one who really raised Joey, and she is proud of her foster daughter and I know that she is glad she has found a good man to love her.

I love my family, and I thank God for them. We have our ups and downs, our good days and our "what was that" kind of days, like every family does. And I am thankful that the seven of us (and the dog and cats) are able to live here together under one roof, loving one another, laughing with each other, crying together. That's what families do.

-- Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Cannon UMC. He is a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette, is presently a columnist, and he is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend to many. He can be contacted at dougmdezotell@gmail.com.

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