Thursday, December 25, 2003

Here in the Gap de la Bull, in frosty Tehnuhcee on momma Grubb's computer. M'ladee fast sleeping behind me in the bed, m'dawg fast asleep on the bed in the next room (she gets her own now).

Tis the day of Christmas and in mere hours, I'll be heading to Knoxville to see some more family. There will be some people I probably won't see because of the level of relational fragmentation that continues.

I don't really mean to cast aspersions on our double-barrelled holiday season over the last two months, but things are a-changing in my life and in the family I thought I knew. Doggone it, MY friends are starting to talk about getting illnesses and fearing some hereditary health risks. Since when did coming home for Christmas become about our infirmities that we don't yet have?

Some mainstays in the remaining fam are aging and I am really coming to grips with the fact that these holiday times [in which I really only get to be with my family of origin (FOO)] are going to change abruptly, sooner rather than later.

We come home, barge in on our FOO's lives, and don't really know what's going on. But we all try to connect because we do have a history together.....mottled as it is. We are missing out on their lives, no doubt. And it is, no doubt, because of the fact we are serving God elsewhere. We know that, we knew that and we grow deeper contending with that. I know we're not the only ones, but it is no small sacrifice. It does cost. It costs time spent with your dad golfing and conversations costs hanging out with your aging grandmother- the one most responsible for your coming to faith in Christ and who raised you from high school costs seeing the ballgames of your sports phenom 13 year old costs seeing your friends kids grow up. It just costs. Jesus told me that somewhere.

This is not about wanting something somewhere else. This is about being vocal about my identity formation as it emerges in this Christ, who beckoned me from His Somewhere out of my nowhere. They are thoughts, perchance, on an ongoing assumption of this One's identity as a cloak or a mantle on my own nakedness and waywardness resulting from my first loving community that blew up in my face in 1977. Though it should have been in the context of me, mom, dad and sis that I was to have learned of the blessed acceptance of the love of Abba, it (my FOO) went belly-up. It may be tripe to some, but God knows how much of a relational mutt it has made me. And let me tell you, in so many ways, I still am discovering ways I suffer today from that damned mess back there.

No anger faces to blame.......I love the principals too much and see them too infrequently for that and God is doing something else in my heart. It's just that coming home causes you to see how easily you forget how deep the void in your heart is until His Light shines to the bottom.

Prally not what you want to know, but it's my crap, my "issues" and part of what makes me up. So this is Christmas.....perhaps another one without my mother, I dunno. I'll let you know later. Sometimes I find myself grieving over something I still long for.....(a mom and dad together with me and my sister)........ but know I'll never have that because I intuitively sensed its death long ago. Emotionally, it has been for me like a death unmournable with a body unviewable. Maybe a part of me died back then too. I am 34 and still coming to terms with the fact that mom and dad couldn't stand the sight of each other. This is divorce. This is half of my generation.

But my God has something to say......