April 5, 2017
I turned my phone over on the table and sniffled. My eyes burned. Everything was too bright. The student union lights put me on display, the pink in my boyfriend’s shirt was blushing, and I was red hot. My cousin Garrett offered me some Takis, flames of orange dust meddling with his sympathy. Mitch wrapped an arm around me, taking the Takis from Garrett’s fingertips.
“What’d she say?” 19 years of having my mother as his aunt meant he knew exactly who I had been texting.
“We’re taking the twins,” I said, and then I cried.
I don’t know when it began, really. I just know that it only took two weeks. My mom’s friend was given a horribly bleak cancer diagnosis, and by Easter, her children were moving in with my family. During finals week, we were making funeral arrangements.
When I was a little younger, their father was my dad’s best friend. He was killed in an four-wheeling accident when I was a freshman in high school. l’m just finishing my freshman year of college.
It was so difficult to come home after school ended last semester. There were boxes in my room from my dorm and from the twin’s house. I had pictures from the twin’s old home in boxes on my floor, along with some of their mother’s belongings she wanted them to keep. We set up a room for them and everything has a new place in their room, but I sleep in the guest bedroom now.
I’ve had to redefine my definition of comfort. My home isn’t this house I’ve lived in forever – it’s these people. And ever-present grace.
Anyone who has been following my blog for a while now will remember all the posts I’ve written about my family, my brothers especially. I’m in love with them. They are the best people I know. It’s hard to think about how I’ll love this new family. How will I write about them? Who will they become? Who have they been all this time they’ve been without us?
My boyfriend and I talked at length about grace the other night. We spend entire phone calls discussing this new life of mine, which is something I appreciate with all of my heart. I’m both tired of talking about it and yet, I can’t stop finding new reasons to bring up the subject because, ultimately, I have no idea who these kids are. They don’t even know where all the light switches are in our house yet.
Grace is a word that I’ve always thought to be synonymous with mercy. I’ve been angry for a while; I haven’t felt like I’m back at home yet. I’ve wished for guidance so many times, but there aren’t any Chicken Soup for the Girls Soul articles on how to handle this kind of structural change. Mostly, I have spent too much time frustrated with how poorly I’ve handled the adjustment. Instead of being merciful, I am working on being graceful (to honor with courteous goodwill).
Psalm 94:19 (NKJV)
19 In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.