It is absolutely atrocious how long it has been since I wrote here. Probably more than a month. It's been a rocky few weeks, and even though there were times I thought about writing, I felt so emotionally drained that I couldn't muster the energy.
But I'm back! The problems aren't all gone, but do problems ever really go away? I think perhaps there are simply times when we handle them better than others.
So, one really good thing that I got from the last few weeks of wandering is the chance to read Brene Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection. I referenced Brene earlier when I wrote about her vulnerability speech. But this is basically her guidebook on how to live wholeheartedly. It's an incredible read. Unlike other "self-help" books, she hits right to the center of the things that are causing many of us conflict and tension in our lives. I would highly, highly recommend it. In fact, I'll link you to amazon right now.
This last week has been rather nice. My boyfriend's mother came into town, and from last Wednesday to today we've spent every evening at his sister's house so that he could be with his mom. He is such a momma's boy, and he knows it. I loved seeing the excitement in his eye when he was with her. They don't get to see one another nearly often enough, but this week was nice for them.
But the time I spent with them was different for me as well. Now, I've been at his sister's house plenty of times, and I had gotten to know her husband and daughter. But this week with all of us together it felt like I became much more a part of the family than before. I got closer to both my bf's sister and her husband, and I think the husband would be okay with getting me as a brother-in-law. Finally someone in the family to play Call of Duty with him. ;)
Tonight, as we had our last dinner with his mom, they began talking about my boyfriend getting a car this summer (I've been a happy chauffeur for a year now). "I could come and see you guys much more often," he said to his sister. She then looked at me and said "But you still have to bring Ty. Just because he doesn't have to drive you doesn't mean he doesn't get to come." That made me feel really good.
We've never talked to them about it, but we're pretty darn sure they know about us dating. Otherwise it would be really odd for them to invite me to dinner for the past five nights. I'm not sure how they feel about it all. But I think they see that we are happy with each other. They see the fruits of our relationship in other aspects of our lives. And even though they might not understand it, and they might not agree with it, they love us all the same. And that makes me feel good.
Since we're talking about families, I'll segue into a bit about my own. I went home this weekend (two and a half hour drive!). I stopped on the way to visit my grandmother, who has taken quite a beating health-wise in the last couple years. She was thrilled to see me, and I was just as happy to see her. I've always felt a connection to this grandmother, and if I were to come out to someone in my extended family, it would probably be her. She has such an unconditional love, and she is able to get rid of prejudice when it interferes with her family. What an angel she is. I think I'll make a habit of visiting every time I go home.
My immediate family was doing well. They moved into a new house a month ago, and they're finally getting settled. It was really good to see them. My mom has definitely softened up. I sent her a copy of Carol Lynn Pearson's No More Goodbyes, and although she's never mentioned it since, it seems like she may have read it. The weekend was nice, simply because I got to sit around and be a part of a family. Nothing too eventful. Just a nice weekend.
Although, when we got to sacrament meeting yesterday, the first speaker stands up and announces that she's been assigned President Packer's talk as her subject. My heart dropped and I prepared for the worst. Thankfully, she was very judicial and stuck to the material, using scripture simply to reiterate what President Packer said. All the same, it was still hard to sit through. I am grateful, however, that she wasn't offensive about it.
When the time finally came to split up for priesthood and relief society, I left and retrieved my own copy of No More Goodbyes that I wisely stowed for the trip. I spent the time sitting in my car, reading, and weeping a bit, squeezing all the love and acceptance I could from Sister Pearson's beautiful words. That book has been a lifeline for me in the last few weeks, and I am so grateful for it.
This leads me to my last topic for the night. Last week I read that Carol Lynn Pearson's play "Facing East" is going to be made into a movie. I am thrilled about this, simply because I can't find it being put on anywhere nearby, and I really want to see it. But being the resourceful person I am, I found a place that offered her play for a very reasonable price, and immediately bought it.
I arrived today, with a handwritten note on the first page saying "Love from Carol Lynn Pearson."
I don't know what it is about seeing someone else's writing, especially when it expresses such sweet and sincere messages such as that. But there is a life in the words others write, especially when written by their own hand. And that short message meant the world to me today.
I read the play immediately. I love it. It is so beautiful and so touching. And I could feel a bit of myself in every one of the characters. I especially loved Marcus, the boyfriend of Andrew. Andrew's suicide and the effect on others is the premise of the play. It is so clear in the way Marcus speaks, and the way that Andrew speaks about him, that their love is real. And perhaps I love it even more because I can feel the same thing I feel when I am wrapped up with my own boyfriend. Love is an absolutely precious and priceless object. You cannot fully comprehend it unless you feel it. And the wonderful thing is, it is continually changing and growing, giving you the chance to discover it anew over and over again.
Just one last note, and I'll end for tonight. Now, I know what temptation feels like. I understand the almost physical pressure, blurring of the senses, and feeling of numbing darkness that accompanies it in one form or another. But that is not what I feel when I am with my boyfriend. I feel peace. Absolute tranquility. True union with someone who has become an extension of myself. I feel love.
Perhaps Andrew from "Facing East" said it best when he said "It doesn't feel like darkness."