When January rolled around, I was still reeling.
From my brother dying. From my marriage nearly falling apart. From lost friendships and loneliness and the unfairness of it all.
Had I picked a word on January 1st, it wouldn't have been an accurate depiction of what was to come in the next year.
I had no idea.
That grief is like a rolling tide.
That I'd feel Aaron in every breath I take and that missing him and loving him and being his little sister, well, those things never end.
That marriages can start again.
That you can wipe away the things of the past and move forward. That continuing on isn't settling or giving in or resigning to mediocrity, but courageous and life giving and, holy cow, it's real love.
I still miss my friends and have realized that that part is just going to take more time.
We are nearly 7 months into 2015 and I have my word now.
And really, I think it'll just be my life word.
Because when I see where I am, when I look over at Andrew, when I see Josie becoming a lady, when I see Gabe's whole face light up with that big grin, it really is the only thing that comes to mind.
We have been redeemed.
Saved from error.
Each of us on our own and all of us together.
It's the story of our family.
And 5 years ago today, Gabe's redemption story crossed with the rest of ours and, man, I'm so glad it did.
This past week, as Andrew and I celebrated our anniversary on the beach, I couldn't help but go back to the day we got the call about Gabe. We were doing the same thing, celebrating our anniversary at the beach. With Josie and David and Amber and Olivia.
We were having the best week and I didn't want to leave. I wanted to stay and be comfortable and stick to the original plan. Which is very reflective of how I lived most of my life.
Well, Javon, then Von, then Baby V, then Gabriel, then Gabe.
Andrew has made quite a few rash decisions that didn't turn out well, but this one? Telling me I was nuts and throwing all of our stuff in an expensive rental car and driving 8 hours through the night with our tired 3 year old to get back to Georgia and go pick up the boy that would become our son?
Well, he got that one right.
I remember the way he smelled that night. His grey skin and seeing his scars for the first time. I remember those deep eyes and fat wrists and, even if it took me awhile to let my guard down, falling in love.
Gabe. The one I didn't see coming.
Happy Gotcha Day Sweet Gabriel Gordon.
the rolls! i can't deal.