I am from MacDermids, Taymouth Castle and Kilin, families strong, devoted, honest. I am a Thomas from Wales, a great-grandpa with a yellow house near a park who wanted to curl my little girl hair. I am from the Jennings and the Dennys, pioneers, stoic, proper, hand sewn, strong, jelly beans in a crystal bowl. I am from Jefferson Beach Road and Greenwood Place North after ferry rides and bridge crossings. I am from the prayers of my mother, from the prayers of her mother who dedicated her daughter to God before she was born and allowed God to hold her to it. I am from Calvin Presbyterian, scarlet purple, stained glass, Grandpa in the choir, potluck dinners in the fellowship hall with friends and family entertwined. I am from parents brave: venturing with little kids to the Amazon jungle, then leaving kids behind for Kenya, walking steadily. I am from my Grandma Kay’s kisses of greeting, junk drawer of surprises, and tree swing in the back, and my Grandma Thomas’s welcoming kitchen, beautiful gardens, and walks down the hill on the beach.
I am from evergreen trees, gray skies and drizzle, and snowy mountains peeking out behind clouds, from the top of Peabody hill, the little red school house, Canyon Edge Dr. cul-de-sacs flying on a red bike, dashing with friends through the old lot, house to house. I am from getting up to change the channel, VCRs as new inventions, and phone numbers with no area code, from Gilligan’s Island, Little House on the Prarie, Anne of Green Gables, and NBC’s Wild World of Sports. I am from Star Wars and a new car called a Honda civic. I am from walks and tennis and A&W rootbeer, Mozart in the gym with my dad, the warmth and love of my mom as my biggest fan, the glue, unyielding in her love and perseverance. I am from a set dinner table and people stopping by, pulling up a chair to join us- cloth napkins and napkin rings. I am from looking things up in the dictionary and reading the Bible together after dinner, from being tucked in every night, and unconditional love frequently expressed.
I am from mills and log loaded trucks, majestic mountains, mighty ocean and salty, hard working families. I am from flannel shirts, sheep-skin lined jeans jackets, chewing tobacco, rock and roll from live bands at pep dances. I am from basketball and volleyball teams for the Roughriders, and a whole town coming out for Friday night games. I am of the county road crew, driving truck and patching potholes for four tens all summer long. I am from a brother determined and kind heading south to play and then to stay, a new sister-in-law, a friend, and beautiful girls of their own that I get to share. I am of classrooms filled with bright young eyes, hearts filled with thoughts and questions, ideas struggling to find words, and words on pages that speak and teach and move hearts with beauty and truth and tragedy. I am of a husband’s love and faith and faithfulness, and the unimaginable joy of baby boys who are mine and yet God’s and who grow and spark and change too fast, my heart running around outside my body. Stories at bedtime, a messy house, eyes brown, blue, green that look at me with love, to me for love, for help, for truth, for worth.
I am from God’s Word and faithfulness lived out by generations, and I pass on this legacy, full of grace and truth. I am from grandparents and parents who loved and let go and kept loving and I am learning that the letting go of motherhood is hard and beautiful at once, loving whole-heart-filled but slowly letting go. I’m passing on high expectations buffered by grace. I will continue to look and speak gently finding there is much in every heart. I will pass on the hard work and putting others first, the love of learning, and the acceptability of asking questions that I have been given. I am passing on sunrises together in the car and road trips through the night, good enough just to be together. I will be further gracious, further thankful, recognizing showers of beauty in the moments of the days. I will remember that I am a river flowing, growing, changing myself and all those that come by, come through, come after. I will remember with delight and cherish what has come before, what is now, and with joy flow onward in faith.