When I went to Michigan, I went for the purpose of helping to take care of Grandma Kreger. I only took a carry-on duffle bag to Michigan...and I don't even go to Dallas without at least 3 pair of shoes. When Grandma Kreger died, I had to change my flight to attend the funeral/visitation. I also had no clothes other than shorts and jeans, so my dad, Susan, my sisters, & I went to Frankenmuth, which is a wonderful little German tourist part of Michigan. I must say...the trip out with MY family was the highlight of the trip. We went to the best outlet mall I've EVER been to. I mean, I got $400 Coach bag for $100. Can you say CHA CHING!?! Anyway, as FABULOUS as outlet shopping is...and I must say, it's such a fabulous thing...it was nothing compared to spending time with my family. No kids. No distractions. Just us, reconnecting in a way we hadn't done in years. I believe that out of pain, hope and positive results can blossom. Such is the case with our hell Michigan trip. Yes, we found out that we have some SHADY relatives on my mother's side of the family. I won't go into it more now. I may write more when my emotions are not as raw as they continue to be today. I may write more for my boys later. I'm undecided for now. Either way, I can honestly say that A) I feel closer to my dad & sisters than ever before and B) I feel closer to Susan than ever before. As far as I'm concerned, she has permanently cemented herself as a member of our family. No "Step" word required. I find and assign the meaning to my life. Viktor Frankl would be so proud. Well, if he wasn't dead. And if he knew me.