To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there. (Barbara Bush)
They say the purest love one can find in this life is the love of a good mother. That means Grace, Molly and Sean Wehner find themselves in rare air. Even from a distance of a couple hundred miles, I can see those three young people are loved beyond all telling. Their mom, Chris Deible Wehner, is a strong, remarkable woman who is crazy about them! She’s pictured above, right, with her mom, brother Rich, and two of her three kiddos.
I don’t know Chris well enough to say for sure if she stays up half the night overthinking and worrying about her two daughters and her son. However, she certainly is the outspoken and undisputed chief of her little tribe…and she has their backs. She has definitely instilled in them the belief that they can and should aim just a little outside their comfort zone and beyond their easy reach, because these young people she has raised are high achievers. She makes it look easy. The truth, though, looks a bit more like this quote I tucked away on a post-it note. “Raising kids is a walk in the park. Jurassic Park.” HA!!? I don’t know who said it, but it’s hilarious because…it speaks truth all of us know who have been blessed with children.
She’s a sassy, saucy, gutsy woman with a soft heart. She’s faith-filled and also witty and not just a little cheeky. She’s brave, resolute and adventurous. For instance, as I type I think Chris is on her way to Italy with her mom, Josephine, who just celebrated her 80th birthday. She didn’t have much of a plan, Chris just knew she wanted to love up her mom in a daring, big way. That 80th birthday is a milestone shared with my father-in-law, Tom. You see, Chris and my husband are cousins. As the family planned this duo’s big celebration, it was Chris who organized the invitations. Honestly, I don’t know how she came up with enough time to do that work, as these things were works of art! Her love was evident and she poured it out in that project for sure! It was impressive.
Here’s what’s always been defining to me about Chris. She makes it clear by her reliable presence, as well as her time and actions that she values her roots and that family is important to her. Unlike many of the members of the extended Thieme family, she does NOT reside in central Indiana. Chris and her three kiddos claim Chicago as their home base. Nevertheless, she has been incredibly present over the years at all the family weddings, funerals, holidays and other events along the way– often more so than many of us who live closer. Despite whatever the struggle might have been in getting it done, Chris always shows up. She does the little important things, like keep the family address list current and send it out during the holidays.
Today, with her infectious laugh still fresh in my mind, I just wanted to give a little shout out to Tom’s cousin, Christine. I so enjoyed spending the evening with her yesterday. She’s one of those secretly incredible people who just gets stuff done behind the scenes. When I see her, she’s always wearing a beautiful smile. Being with her inevitably leaves me feeling just a little more joyful…mostly because I’m probably still giggling. I just flat out like her. She’s a beautiful human. Thanks for sprinkling the world with your brand of sassy sunshine, Chris. I think you are a big scoop of super sauce!
“…Find out where joy resides, and give it a voice far beyond singing. For to miss the joy is to miss all.” -Robert Louis Stevenson