I have recently said goodbye to my home in Floyd, moved to an apartment in Roanoke, and will soon be moving to a home near Troutville, VA. Do not mistake 'home' for ''house.' The house was only a shell, a means to reach my TRUE home. The loving people I met in Floyd - the feeling of warm, family-love and goodness - the kindness of strangers - the common-mind mentality and most of all, the soul-shaking humility and everyday honesty.
I resisted, I struggled, I cried for hours, days on end. I came to Roanoke, lost, and without direction, feeling as though I were waiting for my life to begin, holding on to the life I had left. I felt empty and unholy. I felt alone, and nearly crossed the line to regret.
Yesterday, for Father's Day, we went home to visit Kevin's folks. I felt, as we drove, a part of my heart re-opening. The closer we got, the more shackles fell away, and tears came again and again, as I received a cleansing feeling of relaxation and relief, so happy to be home again, and also the twinge of pain and guilt, feeling like I haven't made them proud. After only a few weeks away, my empty cup filled to overflowing as I sat through church and enjoyed the love, spirit, honesty, and openness I didn't know I was starving for.
I felt that old feeling telling me to stop and reach deep down to the source. I felt a window inched open in my soul, and the Holy Ghost Himself calling to me plainly a truth I knew, but forgot: That my happiness is in my own hands, and no one and nothing can take it away from me, but ME. I felt the call to FORGIVE. I knew that the PEACE I long for is only a moment away, when I can release my resentment and anger, and I cried again, knowing that with my Floyd Family in my heart, I can do it.
I am an emissary, a missionary, a soldier called away. I squeeze their memory close to me for warm consoling hugs as I step into the unknown. My distance from them only strengthens my love, it only solidifies my resolve to make them proud. To be the kind of person who could say, "I'm from Floyd," and have my fellow 'Floydians' be glad I said so.
Their faces, their lives and their examples flash before me constantly, and today I rise to make them proud, to live as a monument to them. To be ever-changed, to become more like them--more like my true self, reflected by honest eyes and unassuming natures. My spirit reaches out to them, constantly enlarged by them, and the feeling is indescribable. I swell with gratitude. I weep with joy at God's mercy, and such great, great love for me, to allow me to rest in their bosom, and love them so fully, and then to leave them, so that they will be with me, inside of me forever.