I had a realization this Christmas, one that should have been obvious but wasn’t. I saw you grasp Sven’s hands and hold them. Sven isn’t blood, but he is family. You leaned right in toward him as he thanked you for the Christmas Eve feast you’d made and said, “Every year, you hear me? Every year, you’re here.”
This was my realization: You are the glue.
You’re the glue that holds the family together. Dad and we girls can be lazy, but you’re the one who tirelessly says, “Come over. Come down. Come eat. Stay.” Or you say, “We’re coming up. When can we see you? Can we do dinner? Your dad wants to see you so much!”
I love the way you give my dad shit and he takes it. I love watching the way you love each other. I love the way you worry about his health. I love the way you’ve accepted us girls so whole-heartedly into your life. I love the way you honor our little mama, always speaking of her with respect, which makes my heart leap out of my chest with gratitude. You’ve said you don’t want to replace her, and I so appreciate you saying that, but you don’t need to worry about that.
You’ve done something better.
You’ve made your own Lola-shaped place in our family, and no one — absolutely no one — could ever fill that. I am eternally grateful for whatever force sent you to us. We’re a better, stronger, more loving family because of you, and I’ll never be able to thank you enough, but I’ll keep trying.
We are the lucky ones, to have you. Some people’s hearts (like mine) are made of love and gunk and some chunks of concrete and gravel and that dirt that gathers at the bottom of a purse. Your heart seems to be made of nothing but love (okay, and a little piss and vinegar, a great combination).
Thank you with all my heart for making our family yours.
I love you,
Get a Free Short Story!
Subscribe to get a free copy of Socks for Alex, a Cypress Hollow Short Story, compatible with all devices!