“You know, this is blog worthy,” I say as I pause to catch my breath. Dad turns around and gives a little laugh. I had just made it down the three stairs from the top of the patio to the gravel; I just had to cross it to get to the grass and venture in darkness towards the flaming fire-pit where we were getting ready to roast marshmallows. If you have ever seen me walking grass, even in daylight, you understand how difficult this situation turns out to be–however, that night I had my Dad walking in front holding my walker to keep it steady and my Uncle was walking close behind me, for in the event I fell backwards.
I continue my mumbling, “Yep. Someone should be video-taping this and then post it on Youtube as one of those ‘inspiring’ stories that goes viral.” At this point I have to stop, because I am laughing at the thought of it and continue, “The headline would read, ‘Watch what happens when a girl, who can’t walk on grass in the dark, goes to sit with her family by the fire-pit.” It actually would be a boring video, because that’s all I did–just sit. Mom roasted three marshmallows for me and then I just enjoyed watching everyone else; can’t lip-read in the dark…and lip-reading all weekend was difficult as it was already otherwise.
Over the past two weekends, we have had two family reunions: the one in which my parents and I made the road trip to Michigan had been planned for months; the one this past weekend was a minor spontaneous overlapping of my Mom’s siblings. Lots of aunts and uncles and cousin times, too much food, games and tourist attractions, relaxation and all the different combinations of simple family pictures–both reunions have special memories–even if they were just short gatherings.
I get emotional when I know that I have to face family and friends, in which I have not seen in quite some time; pictures and blog posts are only a fragment of the physical me…real life is always the real picture. I have had a lot of these encounters this summer–before Colorado, before my friends came for the NF Walk, before the Michigan reunion, and when the other relatives came. It will probably happen before I see my doctors in a few weeks; I haven’t seen them since February…a lot has changed since then. I don’t know why this happens–it just does. The thoughts of how I used to be, and the knowledge of where my body is now…overwhelms and frustrates me at times. And I have to honestly say, right now, I am at my worst. And that didn’t faze my family at all–to them, it was just the real me. Just Mel.
Of course, I am not saying that they ignored it all–no, they were my helping hands and we even talked openly about different health issues. And like all my other encounters this summer, my family showed that where there is love…there is no fear. My thoughts of their initial reactions disappeared and were completely forgotten the moment the first “hello” and hugs were given. That’s what made the weekends so special.
Jesus sees me at my worst…even more than just the physical. He sees my thoughts and intentions, the words on my tongue before they’re spoken and my heart. He sees the real me. And He loves me despite it all. That’s not a fearful or overwhelming thought: it’s unfathamable.