Right now I’m sitting at the downstairs computer in my parent’s home in Pennsylvania. Nona is snoring in her bedroom, just around the corner. My dad is long asleep, Aunt Melody and mom are bustling around upstairs, looking at old photos and just being sisters.
On Saturday, after arriving home and spending several hours with my family, I went upstairs and made the familiar route to my old bedroom. This was my room from age 15 to 19. The walls are “ripe currant,” a deep exotic red. There’s a large antlered tree branch, sprayed gold, suspended from the ceiling in one corner, above where my bed used to live. My old photos are in their old frames, exactly where I had them, on a dark wood bookshelf against the wall. There’s a mahogany leather setee with brass studs next to my closet and behind it a tall fake palm. My curtains are sheer champagne with fake teardrop crystals hanging scalloped on the valance. I have my knick knacks. Some of my books remain. Mom doesn’t know where my trunk full of books went and neither do I, but they’ve got to be in the basement because she never throws/gives away anything of mine.
I am flooded with memories.
My parents adore me. My mom is proud of who I am and considers me her friend. My dad beams with joy whenever I’m mentioned and is at rest when I’m home.
But much of the time I wish I had been easier for them.
Less troubled. Less escapist. Less boundary-breaking. Less boy crazy. Less needy. Less of a liar. Less of a rebellion from truth.
I get it now. More than ever before.
I am forgiven. God, my ultimate parent, has parented me through a heart redemption and continues to do so. I break a little more each time I am reminded of where I’ve come from.
I want to say Thank You, but I’m not sure how to do it yet. I’m embarrassed to open the past and point to things I’ve done and say “Thank You for being [this] for me then. Thank You for loving me unconditionally. Thank You for being patient. Thank You for vacuuming my room when I held way too many secrets in there. Thank You for calling me yours even when it was probably embarrassing. Thank You for bringing me home from school on countless occasions when I had panic attacks and you didn’t know what was going on. Thank You for every time you listened to my desires and bought me gifts and poured into me when all I did was take. Thank You for not shaming me when you knew I snuck away to be with a boy, or a blunt, or some darkness. Thank You for hearing my outbursts and, mostly, lovingly put me in my place. Thank You for taking on my offenses and showing up each day to call me your daughter and show me you were beyond proud of any truth shining through in my heart. Your grace helped bring me home.”
His grace, through you, brought me home.