Lerone's Family

When I look back at the pictures from my childhood, those pictures show a Lerone with the biggest smile on her face. That’s because I was a very happy kid! To share a little of how that happiness originated, I’ll have to tell you a little about my family.

If I had to pick one person in the family whose temperament and personality is similar to mine, it would be Dad.  That connection has existed for quite a while. Mom tells me that when I was in her womb, she could always tell when Dad was on his way home because I would become so excited and start kicking inside her. Growing up, I remember Dad had a quote for every occassion. My favorites, though, were: “'Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' saith the Lord of hosts,” and “Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children.” Dad was famous for his heavy foot (many tickets later and it isn't so heavy anymore)! On long distance trips, I would love watching the cars move out of the way as dad went zipping down the highway—something that I now enjoy doing myself! (Be careful of your example, parents!) Dad is probably one of the most perfect gentlemen that I know. I've never had to open a door with my Dad around, and I've never had to seat myself around a dinner table with my Dad around. I've never known what it was like to not hear Dad comment on my beauty. I am fortunate to have such a great Dad!

Mom was always an interesting woman and somewhat of a mystery to all my friends who thought she was uber strict.  Well, she was, but she also was and still is the most fun woman I know! Some of my favorite moments with Mom (and Noleene) are Friday night worships. We would always maintain reverence, but I remember sometimes we would all look at each other, move a certain way, or say a particular thing, and then all three of us would start laughing uncontrollably. One Friday evening, Mom decided we would watch a Christian exercise video to welcome the Sabbath. It was awesome!  Well, Dad wasn’t too pleased with our choice, but Mom, Noleene and I had fun! Mom would always make sure we had great, relevant conversations during worship, and we were never afraid to discuss anything in open with my parents—well, mostly! With Mom around, there is always music, always dancing, always laughter, always great advice and wisdom! Mom's also a very spiritual woman. I look at her, and sometimes think, whew, I have a looong way to go. She is the best example I know of how to be a great mother and wife!

Chrissy is my biological cousin who lived with us since before I came home from the hospital. But, she REALLY is my big sister. I did all the annoying things that little sisters do to their big sisters. In the 1990s when jheri curls were all the rave, I would sneak in her room and steal her gel and put some in my hair to try to make it curly. I would love to go in her closet and imagine myself wearing all her cool clothes. And I would try to go places with her that any big sister would not want her little sister tagging along. I also loved watching when she made her bed and created fancy artwork with her pillowcases. I would sometimes try to imitate her art when I made my bed (you’d have to see the design to understand the coolness!). But it was great. She was (and still is) an amazing cook, and was quite the disciplinarian, as well. One glance, one pinch, and that straightened the mischief out of me! Chrissy is more of a best friend now, and hopefully I’m no longer that annoying little sister to her, but also a best friend.

Noleene is really my twin, even though she is my younger sister by a little under two years. We can literally be in separate rooms, separate states even, pick up the phone, and tell each other what the other is thinking—which has actually happened numerous times. She also is my little big sister, and has fought a few battles that I wasn’t brave enough to fight. Some of my favorite moments with Noleene include wrestling when we were younger to see who would win (she always did), watching comedies with her (“Dude, where’s my car?”), and sleepovers in each other’s room when I would return home. Noleene is probably one of the only persons in my life who just understands me without me having to explain myself. She just gets it. And sometimes we all need someone who "gets it." The bond we share is indescribable and I hope that it forever stays strong!

So, when I look at those pictures and see that mouth to mouth grin, I know it's because God placed with me such wonderful people. I hope that Murray and I will continue to share that happiness as we begin our new family.

Murray's Family

I’m sometimes asked, “What’s it like to be the son of a famous doctor?”  Over the years I had been refining my response, but realistically as far as I’m concerned, he’s Dad.  Everyone’s famous in some circles, and I’m glad that I was blessed with a father I could look up to (sorry, just gonna end that one with a preposition).  The important thing that keeps a family is love.  So let’s get to the whole family now.

For a large part of my childhood I had the opportunity to live with two brothers, Mom and Dad and my grandmother (Dad’s mom).  It might be tempting to think that since my parents were reasonably well-to-do that we would have grown up with a silver spoon or however that phrase goes.  I’d like to go on record saying that we were never wanting for anything necessary, and we got an excellent education at a private school, but let’s just say that we were never the ones everyone else looked to for all the coolest stuff… never, not once, no, not a single time.

We had some interesting practices around our house, for example, my brothers and I provided facts to my Dad and Mom at the dinner table.  To make sure we didn’t waste our days we had to find something interesting and memorize it to repeat to them from the time we were in middle school, if not earlier.  We also wrote reports on the presidents of the United States during the summers using the encyclopedia brittanica.

My mom had each of us learn a stringed instrument: Rhoeyce – violin, BJ – cello, Me – viola.  We enjoyed the quartet with our Mom for a while, but have been attempting to extract ourselves ever since.  One of the main sources of enjoyment for us was being allowed to go over Eric’s house and play Star Fox 64 or Golden Eye or going over to Paul’s house and playing video games on the computer.  Since we had dial-up seemingly until 2015 (yes, I know we haven’t reached that year yet, it seemed like we had dial-up so long that it stretched into the future) we always yearned for any opportunity to use faster internet.

My grandmother loves to be outside and has quite the talent for gardening.  She was also something of an enforcer when we were growing up.  If we acted out she’d have us bring her a switch to give us a spanking!  I was so afraid of that switch I would do just about anything to make sure I was good when she was around.

My Mom is the outgoing, board game-playing and compassionate one of the family.  She remembers everyone’s birthday, anniversary and other special event so she can send wishes and remind us to do the same.  She always has some sort of cards (usually Taboo or 25 Words or Less) with her so that we can play during down time.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my Dad had a fair amount of hair when we were growing up.  My brothers and I would greet him when he came home and jump up and down singing “Welcome home, Da-ddy!  Welcome home, Da-ddy!”  This would probably go on for a couple minutes, but it was quite fun.  Eventually he would sit down at the table and we would go through his hair, searching for grays, or twisting it or really whatever our childish minds imagined, he was very patient.  I bring that up so that when you see pictures of me with my long hair, perhaps we could say, like father, like son?  :)

My brothers and I were always trying to gang up on one another because we had an odd number, so 2/3 would win.  Things were reasonable until I was given my own room, then all of a sudden I seemed to lose all the arguments.  This was not terribly fun, but then again I also didn’t get into as much trouble. 

I’d say the three of us came out alright.  We may be getting married in a funky order, but the Bible says that the first shall be last, and I’m last, the rest of the ordering doesn’t quite work out, but I took it out of context anyway :).  Our upbringing was annoying at times, but overall it shaped us into who we are today, and while I would have liked to play football, I think we turned out alright.

Our parents and grandmother instilled in us the importance of a relationship with God.  It’s not so much about a denomination or creed or building, but a fellowship amongst people who love the one who gave His life for our sins and who will accordingly keep His commands.