For the past week my family had traveled back and forth to Harris Methodist Hospital and sat together while praying my Aunt Shirley recovers from an unexpected heart attack and double bypass surgery. 

My father and his sister have not visited, spoken with or even seen each other since the death of my grandmother some ten years ago.  This “fued” has caused a rift that didn’t prevent my twin sister, Cindy Daniel and I nor any of our children from keeping a close relationship with the three cousins we grew up with or my Aunt who spent much of her life raising her own three children along with myself, my two and our little brother.


Two days ago, after years of having nothing to do with his only sister- my father finally surprised me by making the trip and staying some 2-3 hours visiting his sister.  Unknown to my father, his visit drastically improved my Aunt’s condition.  You see, she has longed for a mended relationship with my dad and not I nor anyone else could do anything to change the situation. 

Shirley Dickson with Latest Little Pawner Madyson Blais

Young “Maddy” Blais brought happiness to an otherwise sad situation and quickly melted hearts around the heart surgery lounge area as well as cheering up my Aunt who loves babies (who doesn’t?).  Going back and forth to the hospital with food and flowers and spending time with cousins that Cindy and I normally see some 2-3 times a year, we decided to change our busy schedule and make more time for family visits after this unexpected turn of events. 

Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney Bringing Dinner to our Family at the Hospital

The Little Pawners, Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney made their first visit last night with me and loved spending time with my cousin, Albert Jr looking for Black Friday sales on his cell phone.  As I asked my Aunt about the visit with my father, her eyes lit up as she told me how honored she was that he would come to visit her and how sad she was at the many years they had lost.  You see, my father has never gotten along with her husband (my uncle) Albert Dickson.  Because of this, for fifty years of her marriage, my Aunt has struggled to have a relationship with her brother. 

My Cousin Albert Dickson Jr with Madyson Elizabeth Blais at Harris Methodist Heart Center

My father has yet to see Madyson Blais and today as I prepare the Little Pawners, Maryssa and Makenna who spent the weekend at WorthamWorld with me for the Parade of Lights in Fort Worth, Texas, I send an invitation text to my father. 

Foxy Wortham with Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney at WorthamWorld

Since the unexpected death of my fathers partner, Lady Gretta Ozee, my father rarely leaves his home some two miles from me for family events or recreation.  The loss of Gretta left a gaping hole in everyone’s heart who knew her.  She once brought my brother and his entire family to Fort Worth as a Christmas gift to my father. Gretta valued the importance of family because she had never had children and also because she had always wanted a “big family.” 

Jerry Thomas and Gretta Ozee

Gretta’s laugh filled a room and with a heart as big as Texas- she like everyone else wanted my father and my aunt to “mend the broken fence.”  Lady Gretta would have smiled and been very pleased to know that our father had sat with his sister and taken a step in recovering their relationship.  Sometimes tragedy brings families together and sometimes “family fueding” isn’t worth the loss or heartache of whatever caused the problem in the first place.  Families are forever and whether you like it or not, families are opinionated and made up of folks who “throw their two cents in.”  Don’t let a petty squabble come between you and a sibling and lose years of a relationship that will enrich your life.  While we are rejoicing at the latest development, we are sad for the many years lost that can never be replaced. This holiday season instead of complaining about your cousins, your inlaws or your outlaws- be thankful that you have people in your life to rejoice with, to cry with and to share your memories with.  Whether you are from the “big city” or the “small town,” the differences of you and your family are what make you unique.  Rejoice in the “melting pot” your family brings.  One day you family will wish they had forgiven one another for the argument or the silly thing that caused them to separate in the first place.  Life is fragile…

Wendy M Wortham Multigenerational Family Wedding & Event Business- We Take Trades!

Christmas at the Dickson Farm


Cindy Daniel Leigh Ann Blais and Matthew Wortham



Uncle Albert with Maryssa & Makenna Mahaney


Madyson Blais with Leigh Ann Blais


Jerry Thomas, Stephanie and Robert Hafele, Stephaney Mahaney


Wendy Wortham with Stephaney Mahaney and Makenna Mahaney


Cindy Daniel Cynthia Dickson and Wendy Wortham


Makenna and Maryssa Mahaney with Matthew Wortham