God knows we need our people. He makes our children solely for us, just as He made us for our parents. He knows the vision of our grandmother sitting on the edge of the bed in a mint-green hairnet while slathering Vicks on her neck molds us in some way. He knows the scent of our mother’s hair and the feeling of our father’s stubble on our cheek when he kisses us leaves a lasting imprint on us. He knows our uncle’s wink and our aunt’s love for a killer feist is something that will bring a little joy to our heart amid our darkest moments.
I long to rest at my mother’s feet in that wallpapered bedroom while she tells me a story about Brownsville, Tennessee, in 1960. I long to ride shotgun in my daddy’s Chevrolet Silverado while his golf clubs sling around in the bed and Bob Dylan plays on the radio. I want Granny to fry up some salmon patties while she dances to bluegrass gospel in her kitchen. I want to sit on that creaky front porch swing and rest my head on my great-grandmother’s shoulder while a Popsicle melts down my arms.
But I can’t. That time in my life is over. I won’t hear their voices or hold them in my arms until we meet in heaven, but I’m so thankful I embraced every moment. That so many wild, crazy adventures took place in our home. That I memorized so many old stories. That my mother’s laugh and my grandmother’s wrinkled hands are forever engrained in my memory and will help carry me through the rest of my time in this temporary home. We weren’t the perfect family, . . . but I’m so glad God gave me those amazing people, those humorous people, faults and hang-ups and all.
You may not have chosen your people, but praise God, He chose the perfect people for you. Even if your uncle steals hubcaps and your lady cousin refuses to wax her beard, love them anyway. Embrace the time you’re given with them. Cherish the moments.
Love the ones you’re with.