Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Family:

I've been thinking alot today about family and how it is defined. My Mom and Dad taught me that family wasn't about bloodline. I am adopted.

I came on this journey with a pre- conceived notion of how things would look when I arrived. I would come in and take over for those who have been tirelessy caring and supporting my mom and dad. Why? Because that's what families do in times of crises. We take care of one another.

Little did I want to know... this part of my family has been in crises for months and they were doing an amazing job of supporting one another. This family WAS my Mom, Aunt & Uncle, Cousin, Brother and his family but also friends and neighbors and their community of faith.

As I have navigated this day my other family has been ever present with encouragement, love and support. My husband and kids and ministry team and girlfriends. Their prayers and courage have girded me up to face this day.

Tonight I looked up "family" and there are 20 definitions. I love that.
Alan, Mom, Jeff and I - best guess is about 10 hours sleep total between the 3 of us since my father died 24 hours ago.

I had a very adult conversation with my brother today. We haven't always been able to talk about important things, but we talked openly and honestly about what it has been like to be him and what it has been like to be me, 1000 miles away. The good and the bad of both.

I get to remember my dad the way I left him in March with a twinkle in his eye, still game to try anything we were trying. But, I didn't get to say goodbye in person, the way I wanted.

He had to watch my dad wither and hear him cry in pain when he moved him the last couple of days. He earned a deeper respect from my Dad and Mom as he selflessly cared for them.

As I was interacting with my brother I could hear my father challenging me the last time I was here, to stay engaged with my brother, to cultivate a relationship. I know that our conversation today would have pleased him deeply and for me, today that is enough for me to call this day a success.

--- from my dad's chair, 24 hours later

4 comments:

tyler said...

what great thoughts janet. really great.

Melinda said...

There is so much evidence of the Holy Spirit in this post. You are listening well to Him.
I am continuing to pray for you and these posts provide great guidelines for those prayers.
I love you.

Anonymous said...

Janet - I love you and I stand with you in the sense of loss. The slamming door...yes, and then the sense of deep vulnerability of losing a layer that stands between us and our own mortality...and a father...a good father... Love and Prayers - Barbara

Anonymous said...

missing you Janet, awesome to read these posts.
Jay