Family Rules

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

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