Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The LaRue Family

With all the CRAP (sorry) going on with my dad these days, I've gotten a whole new appreciation for my entire family. One of the General Authorities in General Conference a few times back said Cancer is a disease of love. I couldn't understand/comprehend/grasp that phrase until it happened to us and Dad got this dreaded disease.

I have always been a fan of my family. I thank Heavenly Father every single night for sending me to this particular family. I'm even more grateful for them now - for who they are, for how they live their lives, for how we all love each other, for their support and guidance.

I am going to be a little indulgent here and share with you my family and who they are:

Allan LaRue is the patriarch of my family. He's my dad and I've never loved a man more. He has one wife, five daughters (no sons), and two sisters (no brothers) and is therefore surrounded by women who constantly mother him. He has more patience with the women in his life than anyone should have to have, yet it's what he knows and he loves us all. Dad has cancer and is in a lot of pain right now. He hasn't talked much during this time, but you can see the pain/frustration in his eyes and that's hard to see knowing he's hurting. Yet, true to my dad-ness, he says he's grateful this happened to him and not any of his family. He really is quite selfless. I love Love LOVE my dad.

Sharon LaRue is the matriarch of my family, my mom. I went to Utah a couple of weeks ago and spent some really good one-on-one time with my mom while my dad had some more surgery. She and I are a LOT alike in so many ways and it was comforting to share with someone the strange quirks that I have. I love my mom and I love how much she loves us and especially loves my dad. This cancer has put us all through the ringer, but most especially my mom. She sits all day in Dad's hospital room, just needing to be near him and near his doctors. It's inspiring to see the love that is between them.

Leslie LaRue Julian is my oldest sister. She lives in Colorado with her husband Jason Julian, has 3 boys (James, Jake, and Jackson Julian), 1 girl (Jonni Julian), 1 daughter-in-law (Tabitha), and 1 granddaughter (Olivia) (my sister is a grandmaw, can you believe it?!?). I believe she has coined the phrase "Suck it up," or if she didn't come up with it, has used it more than anyone else on this earth. She not only says that phrase, she believes in it wholeheartedly and applies it to her life as she expects others to apply it to theirs. She's one of the hardest workers I know and really loves her family. I think she's happiest when they are all together at a wrestling tournament of some sort. I really love my sister Leslie.

Stacey LaRue Johnson is my 2nd oldest sister. She lives in Utah with her husband Kirk Johnson and her two sons Travis and Dylan Johnson. Stacey has discovered how to paint. And man alive does she do it well. I get so excited to see her new masterpieces - usually one a month or so, and feel privileged that I have one of her originals hanging on my wall. I'm proud to display it in my bedroom right now and can't wait to have a house some day where I can show it off a little more. Stacey is Switzerland in our family. She's always been neutral in arguments, fights, skirmishes, etc. that the LaRue girls seem to occasionally have. I love Stacey and am grateful she's my sister.

Andrea LaRue Derrick is my sister that is just 18 months younger than me. She is married to Ron Derrick and has seven children (6 girls, 1 boy): Bryndee, Porter, Torie, Kymber, Abby, Ellie, and Taralee Derrick. Andrea and her family live about five miles away from me and I get to share in their lives. Their home is my home and I'm so grateful to be a part of their family. Andrea loves to cook and is a part of a line of fabulous cooks: my grandma, my mom, and Andi. All of my sisters are fantastic cooks, but because Andrea lives near me, I get to experience her cooking the most, and she's excellent. She loves recipe books (sits down and reads them like they're novels) and loves to try new things. I love Andrea. She's my best friend and I'm grateful that she's my sister as well as my friend.

Cassie LaRue Kerby is my baby sister. Cassie is married to Chad Kerby and has 3 boys (Tyler, Andrew, and Max Kerby) and 3 girls (Raegan, Kalli, and Sydney Kerby). Cassie is Supermom. This girl can go Go GO better than anyone. She's happiest when she's on the move, whether it's carting her kids around town, helping my mom and dad with their massive amounts of doctor appointments, being a bishop's wife, going on fun excursions (Disneyland, Boston, Guatemala, New York, etc.), and being one of the most embarrassing parents in America (anyone see Rachael Ray?). I love my baby sister and am inspired by all that she does and accomplishes.

I love my family and appreciate you taking a moment to get to know them a bit better. I think they're pretty terrific and am humbled to be able to call them family.


Cassie and Chad said...

And we LOVE you too! Wow Tara what a nice post. That was fun to read. But you forgot yourself:

Tara is one who loves to be around her family. She enjoys so much to be near the "action" of whatever is going on. Tara is super sensitive and caring. She truly is excited for everyone's accomplishments, talents or ideas. She is very supportive and is an inspiration to us all. Tara is extremely generous with her time, talents and someday her money! :-)We love Tara and are grateful to have her in our family.

Andrea said...

Ditto to what Cassie said! But I would like to add..Tara is my kids second mom. They love and trust her in a different way than they do with me. I often find Tara sitting on the couch with one of my kids just talking to them. They open up to her and share things with her they do not share with me. And in return she "tattles" on them if needs be. It is wonderful having her in our home all the time. When she was away to Utah last week I think my kids went through withdrawls. We really love Tara! Thanks for all you do for us!

Tara LaRue said...

Geez. Shut up already.

simplyshye said...

Sooo cool ! Here i came on here to make a comment bout your thoughts of your family - which BTW - is wonderFUL . So many sweet things to say Tara - that's so sweet .

And now im baaaawling !!! reading what Cassie and Andrea write --- it's true ! Tara - i member you as a GEM !! a really beautiful , kind , loving , patient , non-judgemental , honest , trustworthy , sharing friend !!

Don and Sandy said...

You do have a great family!
I have always admired your closeness. How nice that your mom and dad have 5 wonderful daughters and 4 great sons-in-law. They have raised you properly!!
You all have all risen to the occasion and have been there when needed. How blessed they are to have your love and support though this time of trial.
That is what family is all about.
We hate seeing your dad in so much pain for so long and hope that he will start getting better soon. Your family is in our prayers.We love you all.

Jen said...

Wonderful post my friend! I hope you and your family can feel all the love and prayers headed your way! You are all amazing!

Stacey said...

Wow, Tara, that's an awfully nice tribute to our family. I agree with you, though, we do have a great family. I do think we are all truly blessed. I don't know if you will ever really understand how much you coming up last week and being with mom and dad meant to all of us. It helped everyone out. It was so nice not to worry about who was with mom and dad and how mom was going to get home. I know they thoroughly enjoyed the time with you. Thanks for all you do. You're awesome.

Love ya.

Allyson & Jere said...

What a sweet post. Sometimes it really is important to just sit down and put in on paper the things we love and admire about our family/siblings, etc. I must admit, I got a little teary eyed reading your post and Andreas and Cassies response. Family really is the greatest treasure. I'm so glad you have such a close and loving family, it makes difficult times so much easier to endure.