A little over a week ago, I returned from an amazing return trip to Buffalo, New York. On this trip, I set out to get to know my sister, Kelly and my brothers, Paul and David a bit better. Of course there was a hope that I would get to have some one on one time with my dad too in order to talk about and let go of the past and embrace the future. I will let you know that, while the visit shared the gauntlet of emotions; from out of control laughter to necessary healing through tears, that I personally felt that the trip was very successful. So, I want to publicly give thanks to my sister and brothers for making the effort, taking the time and for embracing these unknown moments together with me. I feel a strong connection to each of you now. I also believe that together we moved mountains and have found what we need as individuals to move forward and focus on tomorrow and all of the beauty that is in store for us.
Like everyone else, going into the weekend in Buffalo, I too was very nervous about making the trip. I suppose when I try to think of why, it came down to the unknown and the what ifs. While I was excited to know and learn about them, I found that I was apprehensive about them too. Yes, it was a walk down memory lane; different for each of us in many ways and on many levels. The levels for me included not only my time in Buffalo and my new family, but my life at home, at work and just what was important and what was not. It was very much an eye opener for me on shedding my fears, the things that are unecessary and yes, even people that are toxic in my life too. Another thing I am very thankful for about this year.
I was finally able to really kick start my writing on a story my mother shared for me many years ago, that I need to be sure is put to paper. The Strawberry Patch story will undoubtedly be one of healing for more than just me. I give thanks for the removal of this block in my life.
I learned that I have so much in common with my sister that it is hysterically uncanny. We must have "high-fived" each other so many times because of the realization that we are alike in many ways. There were many of those moments, but I lost count through the laughter and tears. I realized that I am not much different than my two brothers, Paul and David. We want and need the same things in life. We hoped for something different growing up, but we feel blessed for what we have. Those things we hoped for are all very simple things and I hope what I realized, they did too; and that is that it doesn't matter how old you are, the things that we did not get, or the paths we took in life, we can still have those things. If not for ourselves, for our children.
I believe that the biggest lesson of all for me and for all of us, is that we should be proud of what we do and have done for our lives, for all that we have accomplished in our lives (big or small), whether someone took the time to tell us or not, because we are good people and despite our pasts, we have shared only love and goodness with our spouses and children too. We should be very proud of our families, no matter what and I can sense that each of you are too. I am especially proud of each of you for this and give thanks that we shared these moments in time together.
I want to be sure to share that I especially give thanks to God for the amazing gift in allowing me to discover my new family. I realize that we are still in the process of learning and discovering about each other, but I want them to know that I will move heaven and earth to so as we move forward to tomorrow.
To my sister and brothers. I am very proud of each of you. Know that every day. I thank you for embracing this gift that not many people in this world receive in their life time.