When we left New Hampshire, we left an environment where Alana’s mental illness was considered attention seeking and my support of her getting healthy was considered being a sucker.
As we settled into our new routine in South Carolina, Alana came home one day with a sign listing our new family rules. They were so unlike the ones we lived under before. We were used to criticism rather than compassion, angry explosions in place of laughter, bitter rants instead of gratitude. It wasn’t until we were out of that place that we could understand how unnatural it was.
With the upcoming arrival of a grand daughter who will never physically know her Aunt Alana, these are the things I learned from Alana and hope to pass on to the newest member of our family:
We use our words
We feel our feelings
We lick faces
We make mistakes
We practice being kind over being right
We celebrate little victories
We pop the bubble wrap
We’re never too old to play the floor is lava
We will hug you fiercely and we will love you forever