The gift of a lifetime was getting to be a part of this family. I love them. They even love me back. Most of us (some of us are still in process) can be our full selves within this family. Even when we aren’t being authentic we are still encouraged and welcomed. It’s just that sometimes generous, overt love can be terrifying when you are still hiding from yourself. But still, the love continues, even when you think you are unworthy.
My children will always have a home here because there is another weirdo that will understand them when I don’t. There are kindred spirits that they can belong to just a cousin or aunt away.
This family forgives. They teach you of Jesus. They want to banish shame. They speak life and vision and character over you. They choose each other again and again. I choose them, even when the wound they inflicted is still tender. I will always choose them. Because they showed me what it felt like to be chosen when I was the one inflicting the wound. The goodness of God runs rampant here. I’ve been a recipient of God’s goodness, his blessing here on earth because I somehow was put in the Allis family.
This family was a launching pad for me. Instead of obstacles to overcome, they were a springboard for me to go to greater places.
Mom & Dad- thank you for remaining. With each other, so I didn’t have to know divorce. In a house through my high school education so I could attend a school 3 years in a row, instead of continuing the 5 schools in 5 years trend. In a church so I could meet Jesus and come to know him as my own. In Cincinnati because the greatest part of our relationship is the friendship I know with you in my adulthood.
I think of how you still continue curating culture in our family like when I shared a soul deep vulnerability about feeling rejected after Drew died. I was the oldest living child at home, and you were both buried in grief. It was a pain that took over 2 decades to surface. Your response to my little girl pain was to shed your own armor and share with me your own wounds. You validated, commiserated, and wept. We all did.
My goodness, I cannot wait for eternity where tears are turned to laughter and the best of reunions await. Thanks for being some heaven on earth in my life.