Some families are not very tight. Some are hostile and some don’t even speak. That makes me sad.
My family is close. Very close. We’re tighter than an extra small knit shirt on a muffin-top teenage girl. Got the picture? (You might be trying to shake the muffin-top image out of your head now. Sorry.)
I think my mom and dad, both turning 80 today, fed us glue when we were kids. They did something that stuck to us. It’s made us stick together. And now, I see it has gone all they way down to our kids.
Dad went to all our activities and mom fixed our broken stuff and helped us through our heartbreaks. They scolded us when we screwed around, grounded us when we broke the rules, dragged us to church and pushed us to never give up. We celebrated every holiday big and laughed loud at life, together.
Big fights brought roses, “I love you’s” were frequent and a quick goose in the kitchen always brought loud responses of “Donald!” Mom and Dad lived and loved in front of us and all around us.
We love because they loved. Amidst our own set of dysfunction there was always love.
I put our family in a storm this year. If we’re honest, except for maybe Gail and Robin, I think we all doubted if I would be here today, alive. I had times I was sure I would die soon and times I begged God to stop my heart and end my pain.
We had times they huddled around me, protecting me, while the winds of my storm battered their backs.
They lined up offering to put themselves in danger so that I might live. They squabbled about who would “get to” give me half of their own liver. Love.
This weekend a good portion of my family will be with me as I attempt to bicycle ten miracle miles in the Fight Back Festival cancer fundraiser. We have matching Donate Life t-shirts for our Team Transplant group.
My son-in-law will ride with me at my slow pace encouraging me and keeping an eye on me, I’m sure. My wife and sister Gail will run a 5k to join me in Fighting Back and Gloria, Tom, Rebecca and Aleana will complete the 1 mile walk. And … yes … I am so blessed to still have my mom and dad with me, and all of us, attempting the walk as well. That glue has us stuck together. Its bond has strengthened through this storm.
Each and every mile I ride will be a miracle mile, each hill a hallelujah. Each peddle stroke represents an act of love from my family, my friends, the Church and even complete strangers.
Every breath I take and every beat of my heart is a testimony of God’s care for me. Rescue. Redemption. Healing. Salvation. Love.
Today is both of my parents birthdays. (I know! What are the odds?) I should get them a gift but nothing could even come close to what they have given us – strong, unyielding love for one another. Family glue.
I am blessed beyond measure. My life is a miracle.