I happen to think Flip cameras are the best things ever invented.
Why, you ask?
Because last Christmas, my friend Shannon decided that it would be an integral part of my gift from her and her family. My friend Shannon, who I met through this blog. Who became like a sister to me. Who came into my life, let me into hers, and has let me claim residence in her family ever since. Yep. My friend Shannon gave me the best Christmas present ever.
She made me a part of the every day life of her family.
Shan, her husband Jason, and daughters Hannah and Eliana, take me with them every day. They film birthday dinners and dance practices and rousing games on the Wii. They take me with them to Sonic and Home Depot and 4th of July fireworks displays. Hannah plays me the piano and Eliana reads to me, they include me in their dinner conversations and decorating decisions and every day life.
They turn on a Flip camera every day and send me these videos that make me feel loved and included and valued. Shan takes me with them on walks to hear the birds, and out in rainstorms to see the drops falling from the sky, and makes sure I can hear the ice crunch beneath their feet on winter days. They get me as close to leaving these walls as I’ll ever get.
They have had my heart and been family to me for so long now, and today...
they are showing up at my doorstep. They are driving all the way from Tennessee just so I can hug them all around their necks. I won’t have to see them through video. I won’t have to laugh with them on the phone. I get to sit and look at them in my very own house, and pray that my [very overwhelmed from the commotion of the last few weeks] dog learns how to play nice.
We planned this trip for the end of July a few months ago. And when Dad died on the 9th, Shan was ready to change everything and hop a plane to be with me. But I told her that I thought we had planned this just right without knowing it. We planned for this much needed respite from the real world before we knew what the real world would be.
So, for the next few days I get to spend time with people that my heart has been longing to see for such a long time. And I get to love on my little girls who are bright and beautiful and, above all else, fancy. I am so tired and worn down, and my heart is exhausted from aching so hard. And I think seeing these faces:
is going to be just what the doctor ordered.