Saturday, June 30, 2012

From Here On Out...

It's overwhelming how much support and love has poured in on here, on Facebook, in email and in person. I feel truly blessed to be surrounded by such caring people.

A lot of people said that it would take time to heal old wounds.  And I totally agree that the natural progression is to take things slowly and let things flow.  But on the other hand, it has been so long already.  I think one of the things that has helped was the opportunity for us all to be together... for us to get to know one another as the people we have become.  I really couldn't afford the trip down, but not to go... not to seize the opportunity, that would be something I would regret.  So I went... not knowing what to expect.

While we were together, we created memories to replace the ones that are threadbare and nearly forgotten.  We talked and laughed and the new memories did much to fill the gaps and long stretches of time that we weren't connected.

The "babies" have helped a lot as well.  Max and Azalea are a new generation and are untouched by much of the baggage.  Seeing them love so easily is refreshing.  It is sweet to witness the sheer joy and pure excitement of having another family member.

It's not the first time that the children have brought this family together.  Before Azalea, we were all set on different paths.  Dwayne was still missing, Sheila was in Thailand, Cynthia was in California, and I was in New York.  Our parents remained in Florida.  Our grandparents were still alive and living in Missouri.  Talk about being far flung!  We were scattered all over!  I talked with my sisters and my parents rarely – I was more concerned with standing on my own and being independent.  I was tired of all the fighting and sad faces back home and wanted to see who I was away from the shadow cast upon the family.  I did talk with my grandparents often and would tell them stories of what it was like living in the City.  They seemed both amused and disgusted by my descriptions.  My heart was "blessed" several times over in the course of the conversations.  Through them I also heard family news and kept tabs on everyone.

When Azalea was born, things changed.  Our family slowly began to knit together again.  Sheila came back from Asia.  My parents relished in their new role as grandparents and I became a frequent visitor of Asheville and my sisters became some of my best friends.  It's strange how much things can change in an instant.  Seeing her was like my heart grew ten sizes.  I was so afraid of touching her when I first saw her.  I didn't pick her up.  I just stared at her in the cradle and she stared back.  I was afraid that I might break her; she was so small and innocent.  

Azalea is the age now that I was when Dwayne left.  When I look into her face, it is not sad.  Her eyes are not red-rimmed and her cheeks are not tear-stained.  What I see is endless possibility and the promise of bright days ahead... from here on out.

12 comments:

Carol said...

Thank you for sharing. God bless all!

Gina Chalfant said...

Thank you for sharing this amazing journey . It was uplifting and thought provoking to read about the rebuilding of a family. Hugs to you all.

Alice said...

Thank you for a beautiful post. What a great reminder that sometimes family is all we have in this life. I like your positive attitude, and it surely will carry you through.

Enjoy your time together!

mairedodd said...

this has moved me so much - life is so bittersweet... i do hope that your heart will be able to ache a little less... and children really are amazing binders in families,aren't they? azalea and max are so lucky to have special uncles and aunts to love them (we all need those anchors in our lives)... isn't life funny, that when you can feel like something was lacking in your life, you can turn around and be given the opportunity to create it for someone else?

Kathy Van Kleeck said...

Eloquent and beautiful and full of promise - blessings

Sharon Driscoll said...

:-) Well said. I think your Mom raised some extrodinary children. They spread their wings very well and then flew home.

quiltingjewel39 said...

What an amazing gift your family has been given. Many don't get a second opportunity. It's wonderful that you are all willing to sieze it and come together. Thnak you for sharing this with us.

dogfaeriex5 said...

andrew~
i have been waiting patiently for you to write about your reunion and i knew you would not disappoint those of us who have been checking your blog and facebook...all i can say is in the end family is all we have.....we always came back to the nest...
looking forward to your future posts..thank you for sharing your unfolding story with us....
xox~kim

Courtney said...

What a beautiful post! I am so happy for all of you.

LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

Family can be so complicated, but I'm so thrilled for you and the results of patience and time - with some luck and good humor thrown in on top. I can see you smiling from here on out - so happy for you and thankful you shared it all here.

Patti Cahill said...

I'm just so happy for all of you!

Shaiha said...

I think that it is amazing and show just what kind of person you are that when you were given a second chance, you took it. Your story has actually inspired me to track down some of my family that I haven't seen in years.