Let me tell you about one of my favorite families. When I was 18 I met them. Katie was dating my brother at the time. I was dating Lance. We went out on some double dates and I fell head over heels for my sister in law. Okay, not like that, but I LOVED her. I loved anyone who could go toe to toe with my brother’s madness.
She was awesome, and so was her family. From the very beginning, her family was our family. I remember her little sister Amy, who was what, 13 at the time? Maybe? She was lugging around a gigantic cast on her leg and was the funniest little thing I’ve ever met. I remember thinking about how amazing it was that everyone in her family that I met was SO comfortable in their skin. I haven’t met all of her siblings yet (she has five of them) but everyone I have met I automatically felt like they were family. Her brother Mitch has always had an awesome wit about him and has always effortlessly made fun of me. You know how I appreciate such things. But he’s SO good. Down to the marrow of his bones. They all are. I wanted her sister Angie (oh this is going to embarrass them!) to marry my brother in law, Logan, for a long time because I wanted to be surrounded by them on all sides. And because I love Angie with my whole heart. She found someone that’s stupid amounts of awesome anyways, so it’s okay that she didn’t marry Log.
But back to Katie. Katie is one of those people that is so completely authentic. I want to be more like her. She’s wise. It’s a good combination because she’ll tell me things that sometimes, even though they are hard to hear, are right. But in her ability to keep up with my brother, in her being honest in all things, in her humor in all of that I think that there are times that one of the best things about Katie gets lost- Katie is so giving. I don’t know how many people know this about her because she’s so quiet about doing it. When we were dirt poor living in the trailer at Utah State University there were things that would just “magically” show up at my door that I needed. I don’t know how many times she drove from Ogden to Logan to leave something at my doorstep without telling anyone, but I’m sure it was more than once.I’m also sure that I’m not the only one she’s quietly given to. She also serves. There aren’t many times I’ve called her house during the day that she didn’t have extra kids over, or even an extra person living in her house. When she thought her life was “fluffy” (in her own words) it never really was because she and Travis worked so hard to help other people.
I don’t doubt that a lot, if not most, of these amazing characteristics in this family have a lot to do with their good mom, Cyndi. She is amazing. I haven’t been able to be around her as much as I would have liked, but every time I have, she always made me feel like one of her own. Cyndi is tough. I don’t know if I realized how tough she- and her children- were until this last year. She was diagnosed with stage 3, triple negative breast cancer. Her story is way better told in a newspaper article written about her here: http://www.standard.net/topics/fundraiser/2011/06/09/cancer-fighter.
Or you can hear about it in her own BEAUTIFUL words here: http://cynthiasusan.blogspot.com/.
If you read those, you’ll know that in her fight to beat the cancer, she’s going to accrue massive amounts of hospital bills. So tonight they are having an AWESOME fundraiser put on by Anything For A Friend. It’s going to be held at the Union Building Ballrooms at Weber State University. There will be food by Texas Roadhouse (yessss), a million auction items (including a basketball signed by the entire BYU team, and a couple of autographed BYU Basketball posters that my AWESOME Brother In Law Logan got for them), raffles etc. It starts at 5. Even if you don’t know them, but want to help someone SO worthy, they’d LOVE to have you. If you go, I’ll love you, too. Which is a big deal, because I don’t love a lot of people. If you can’t attend but would like to help, you can go to her blog and donate. Also, special account has been set up at America First, you can donate at any branch to Cyndi Tangren. I hope tonight is as amazing as this family. I hope that people open up their hearts and their wallets like they have done for those around them before. A family like theirs deserves it.
And you can pray. You can always pray. You can do it right now. For her. For her kids. They need it, and I’m pretty sure you, oh blog lurker, need the blessings as well. We all do.