I’ve had about a week to reflect on my latest adventure and I wanted to share.
About this time last year, I found out my Dad’s cancer was terminal and he was being transferred to hospice. I hadn’t seen or spoken to him in almost a decade, nor my siblings or my mother. The news was hard to hear. My oldest brother was the go between and was keeping me posted and being a true brother. He also had left the family many years ago, like myself. We left to save ourselves and our children/spouses from the madness.
In the midst of the news, my brother and I started to reconnect.
If you follow my blog or my Facebook page, Renovate and Rise, you know my story.
It’s a sad one to start.
Full of trauma, loneliness and struggles.
But the ending, my friends is all about forgiveness and collateral beauty. ❤
Growing up was tough.
It was for my siblings as well.
Our parents were alcoholics and both seemed to have mental illnesses they we’re battling as well.
That’s a catastrophic mix.
Throw 6 children in, toss in financial hardships and add illness and family dynamics and it’s a recipe for Hell.
A Hell we were born into.
As a young girl, I would sometimes get angry with God. I never understood what I did Wrong to deserve such a horrific childhood.
But the beauty in His plan is that He had it all Right.
He knew the reason for it all.
After my Dad’s passing last year, my brother and I continued to communicate.
However, I could sense we both were guarded with one another.
After all, we’d been through a lot with each person in our immediate family.
It was very hard to trust.
But as our relationship grew, I began to see he was the same person each time we talked or texted. Kind, funny and quite similar to me. He loves his wife, lives for his children and still hurts from the past.
One Sunday morning, as we were sending each other photos of our dogs, I felt a pull in my heart.
I randomly texted, “I’m thinking of coming to visit next week, Are you available?”
He said he was and seemed to be excited. We chose a couple days for me to drive down and stay with him and “meet” my family again.
I hadn’t seen my niece and nephew or my brother and his wife since I hosted a family reunion 19 years ago!
Can you imagine the life that had passed, how many days had gone by, and how much we had missed?
But, as I grow in my journey of this thing called Life, I have begun to realize so many things.
I don’t have to be perfect.
It’s God’s timing, not mine.
And the way to the Light is through Love. ❤
So I decided last Tuesday, to follow the light in my heart and see where it took me.
God had put it there, before I was born.
It had been there for 19 years, but I decided to acknowledge it that morning when I was led to develop a relationship with my brother.
I hadn’t been so excited for something in a very long time. It felt like Christmas morning, the euphoria at the end of a race, and the peaceful feeling of a calm morning all at once.
My brother and I went to lunch, he showed me where I was born and where we once lived. He told me stories, about himself and of a time gone by.
It was wonderful.
For one of the first times in my life, I “recognized ” someone! And there was actually someone in this world that could truly “recognize ” me.
What I mean by that, is I never felt like I belonged in my family. Everyday was an “out of body” experience growing up. My parents fought, the siblings didn’t protect one another, but knocked each other down. My family’s actions never made any sense to me. I remember being very young and being so very confused.
My brother felt the same.
As an adult, I even found comfort in wondering if I was adopted.
Through my life, I learned to cope, as survivors do. You Learn to make the best out of any situation.
God placed souls in my life that I could understand and associate with, but it was never the same as having a real family.
Some of my close friends, that have also come from difficult childhoods, have become my siblings. Some of my friends parents, my “adopted” mom and dads.
Again, it’s just not the same.
So, to have this other human, who actually knows what we lived through, knows what we had to overcome, and who is a part of me…. that is a feeling beyond words.
I “recognized ” him.
He is my brother ❤
We caught up on 19 years of life in a short 24 hours.
The beauty was indescribable. Gods presence was everywhere.
To look into my brothers eyes and see my reflection.
To “meet” my grown niece and nephew and their spouses.
My sister in law.
My great nephew.
The life my brother helped create, in spite of it all.
I will carry that with me forever.
I am so incredibly grateful for it all.
All of it.
Every piece of the madness.
Every ounce of pain.
Every late night.
Every weak moment.
God was there through it all.
Right beside me, guiding me, and molding me into who I am today.
Now to look back, I can see how meticulous He was in crafting me.
I am truly His masterpiece.
And I am so happy I grew up the way that I did, because now I can see the Light.
So much beauty, forgiveness, and understanding had come through my Dad’s passing.
God brought to me this place to open my eyes.
The “chapter ” I was in this past year was not what I had planned, but yet, so much more than I could have ever imagined.
This life is not about the jobs, the cars, money or status.
It’s about the things that you leave behind.
A life well lived, forgiveness, love, and faith.
That’s what I call the Light.
We are all in a “season” at this very moment.
You may be going through a dark winter, or blessed with a vibrant spring.
No matter your “chapter” or “season”, please remember, there’s a bigger picture for it all.
As we embark upon the Holiday season, keep that thought close to heart.
Be the Light.
Light is bright, warm and inviting.
Light signifies hope, happiness and life.
Be the Light.
I plan to.
Thank you, Lord, for blessing me according to YOUR Plan❤
Much love to all ,