Friday, June 26, 2015

Words Don't Do it Justice

There's something about being around people who already know your story.

They know where you come from, they know your problems, and while they may not always understand or even like you, they love you.

You don't have to pretend. 

You don't have to worry about looking stupid, because they'll just laugh with you...

even though it may seem like they are laughing at you.

Sometimes, life gets tough. Let's face it, a lot of times, life is just plain no fun.  I often wonder where I'm headed. What God wants from me.  How I can be a light to others when I feel so messed up myself.

This week, I'm reminded that sometimes, you have to remember where you came from to know you're headed in the right direction.

It seems like yesterday I was a little girl headed to Pigeon Forge with my family. We ate at pancake houses, looked for black bears, played putt putt golf, traveled across the mountain and watched Unto these Hills, stopped at the lookout point and gazed at God's creation.

I can close my eyes and see my childhood.

Sometimes, I'm not sure if things are my memories or those that have been passed down... but they have been weaved into my soul intricately and shaped my experiences.

So this week, I remembered... and made new memories.

I stopped at the scenic overlook with Wallace and Caleb and breathed deep. That little boy of mine is taller than me, and I'm forever thankful that the picture snapped by some random stranger will validate  my love.

 I  watched Princess Mermaid Lily go under water and Merman Mason float in his donut. They talked about Magiquest and Amazon World and Lily plotted ways to get us all with the whoopee cushion.

I watched Braylee toddle around the cabin looking for her "Nona" and "bite-bites." She growled a little at us and blew kisses and one brief moment allowed me to snuggle with her as I wrapped her in her blankie and Al kept pushing play on the Mickey Mouse Hot-Diggety-Dog song. I kissed her cheek and thanked God for sweet babies.

I laughed hysterically when Uncle Winker flipped out of the boat white water rafting. I briefly felt guilty for laughing so hard that I cried, but when I looked back and saw Lisa laughing I realized that it was one of those moments that I'll cherish forever. Floating down that river, Wallace in front of me and Mom behind me and two other boats full of people I love more than I can ever say... the sun shining and the water hitting me in the face and the guide pushing Caleb off the boat only for him to climb back up with an actual smile on his face...

I worried because "the kids" who now pay taxes and are responsible adults were driving themselves on the interstate.

I laughed as my Papaw wandered around our cabin at 4 in the morning and shined his flashlight in our eyes. I cheered as he played nine holes of putt-putt and was reminded that it was no coincidence that the winners were those who kept score. I clapped as Braylee put her golf ball in the hole. I sat with Kami on the skylift as we traveled above Gatlinburg and soaked in the view, remembering when she was little and I was her best friend.

I sat around the campfire and listened to their stories.... my stories... our stories.. and laughed so hard my belly hurt.

Four generations, five bedrooms, more air mattresses than you could count... but still plenty of sleep.

There have been new faces added over the years. Brave individuals who decide that loving a certain someone means spending time with their crazy family.... and yet they fit...

Because true family, the kind of family that I've been blessed with, well...

We've been taught that family is what you make it. It's the problems and the craziness and the misunderstandings that you just accept.  You love a little harder and thank God for the good times and try to skim over the bad.

That guy who blew out those candles on Monday taught us about hard work, about quiet love, about respect.

And the legacy that we appreciate will continue, because God promised that He'll bless the generations...

Thanking God tonight for my blessings, that Clemons Clan, and knowing that words can't do justice for the fullness of my heart.  <3

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