Today would have been Joe’s 30th birthday, and the lost opportunity in that realization is what is driving me back to writing today. This year is bringing a lot of changes to my life, changes my brother will not be figured into because he is no longer here on this earth.
My family is growing again: we will welcome baby #4 in February. I wanted to hear Joey laugh at the news, but instead there is silence. In the next few months, my husband, children and I will be moving into a new house in a new town (where I already have many wonderful friends) along with my parents, while the house we last lived in with Joey is going to be sold to someone else, someone who won’t understand that this is the house Joey Jello grew up in.
Our lives are moving on without him, and while it is good, it also hurts.
But as I was going through old papers and junk to de-clutter our current home, I came across a paper I used to keep posted on my desk at college. It’s something my grandmother wrote in an email not long before she died. Read the rest of this entry
Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about who I am, and how I can be me – better. After all, that’s what NEVER BETRAY is all about. The hard thing about being totally true to yourself is that sometimes it means that you no longer fit in the places where you had made yourself fit. This is where I find myself now as I tentatively stretch my limbs to occupy the space I was created for. (As I type this, I’m remembering seeing Joey stretch, and being awed by the amount of space he took up – not just physically but with his entire essence).
I’ve written about how I came to recognize my limited understanding of what it means to follow Christ, and as I continue to explore my thoughts about death, heaven, God, and living a life of purpose, the question of who I am seems to be central to the conflict within me.
I know the answer at least begins with “I am a person who loves generously and honestly.” This is something I’ve always known about myself, and it is the thing I’ve struggled with most. I’ve been hurt over and over again by friends who weren’t all in. And it made me start withholding myself. In the last few years, there have been many friendships that I have kept at arms’ length because I didn’t want to be be rejected again. I’ve avoided whole conversations rather than be the one who thinks differently. Read the rest of this entry