This weekend was probably one of the most bizarre in my life. I’m currently lying on an air mattress on my bedroom floor. That’s the kind of weird I’m talking about.
However, ‘bizarre’ and ‘weird’ are terms people use when they are referring to things that are out of the ordinary. I’m using them here because I don’t know how else to convey what I mean. Allow me to explain.
This weekend felt completely normal. We had fifteen people in our house. My favorite fifteen people. My sister flew in as the best surprise for my mom; our really good friends came in a day early and stayed a day later than planned; and my uncle and his family were here. It was the most perfect that life has been since I’ve lived here. With the Coxes, we played games, we hung out, we made fun of each other, we hugged, we laughed, we loved. And Michaelia, my cousin, was a beautiful addition to our group (and reigning supreme video game champion! She’s got mad skills and beat the boys every time. I was so impressed). I honestly don’t think a single thing could have been done differently that would have made it better. Except, you know, the part where everyone left.
Brianna left early this morning and the afternoon just felt strange with her suddenly gone. Her presence had filled a void I was unaware I had in my heart and now that hole is back. A Brianna shaped hole in my heart. I know I’ll see her at Christmas and through Snapchat, but it was still so…bizarre to have her gone. I can’t wait for the next holiday when she can lead us all again. She’s our pied piper and we love her. I miss her like crazy when she’s not here.
Then Dominique and Scott left and some part of me tore apart. It was so strange. I see Dominique semi-frequently; I don’t mean to belittle her departure. It was very sad to see all of them leave, but Scott’s in college and I rarely get to see him. He’s my Cox and my brother and…I don’t know what else to say. But I wanted to cry when he left, because for three days we’d had perfection and then it was gone. The Coxes have known me since I was eleven (before that I think, but I can’t really remember). I used to babysit them with Brianna. We went to Germany to visit them. They came to Colorado again to visit us. I can be myself, without pretense and unbridled. I can be wildly affectionate and stubborn, and just be me and they all still love me. They are family.
After Scott and Dominique left, Savannah and Daniel left. Marissa and I spent a half hour on this same air mattress lamenting their absence. We become this weird unit when everyone’s here. I mean, we’d gone Black Friday Shopping together and crashed in my living room. If we hadn’t been friends before we certainly would be now. Like I said, they’re family. I cried, and I’m kind of ashamed to say that. I’m ashamed because people will say that I’m just being dramatic or overly emotional, but the truth is that I’m just lonely. And for three perfect days everyone I love dearly as family that everyone in my immediate family also loves and views as family was here. They loved on me and I loved on them. I don’t think I’ve ever been so ridiculously affectionate toward anyone as I was towards the Coxes this weekend.
This weekend was all about thankfulness. I’m thankful for the beautiful people in my life, old and new, who understand me so completely. I’m thankful that I get to give the best hugs. I’m thankful for the brief moments, stolen on an air mattress where two people could just talk about longing. The longing to stay and never go back to normality (or the weird), the longing for Christmas to come as quickly as possible. I’m thankful for games of Mau (spelling anyone?), Camelot, Injustice, Apples to Apples, Phase 10, and Quelf. I’m thankful for standing in line at 1am to buy Christmas presents. I’m thankful for long car rides with the best people, for dancing the Cupid Shuffle in the mall with friends, for the ability to exhaust myself so completely and somehow manage to say awake for hours anyway. I’m thankful for hugs, oh am I thankful for hugs. I can’t remember a time before now when I was showered with so many hugs. I had almost forgotten how much I needed them. I’m thankful for my Pied Piper and the few moments we had together. I’m thankful for my Cox brothers and how we somehow connect. I’m thankful for my Cox sisters and the balance they give us Thorsen girls. I’m thankful that my cousin lives close now and that I can see Uncle Todd and Dawn much more often. I’m thankful for friends far away who struggle to remain my friend despite the distance between us. I’m thankful for the friends here that struggle to be my friend despite not knowing or understanding me. I know that I can be trying.
Most of all I’m thankful for the grace that covers us all. This weekend was God’s oasis for me. I’d been in a drought, when I felt so alone and so unloved. I don’t think I even realized how much until today. However, looking back, I’d struggled so much to pretend that I was okay. God took care of me and I need to rely on Him daily, but he knew that I needed this. Just to be ridiculous and a kid with my siblings. This weekend was pure perfection. It was the normal I needed in my super bizarre life. December is going to be a hard month for me, and this was my preparation for it.
It was good.
(P.S. I know some of you are wondering about NaNo…I’ll write a post when it’s over, but tomorrow I’ll be AWOL so that I can hopefully finish.)