When moving away, I never got the chance to say goodbye to the most important people that I was leaving behind, my family. This is not a “goodbye forever,” but rather a “‘while I’m gone, remember that.’ goodbye.” Almost two months after living on my own, I have had the opportunity to really sum into words the way I feel about each one of them. Families are complex and crafted of incredibly different people attempting to survive as a whole. Mine is no stranger to argument and forgiveness, high and low times, and most importantly hate and love. Thank your for molding me into the person I am today. As always, much love.
Goodbye to my mother and father, Kelli and Shawn. I have never had more mixed reviews about two individuals performance. The negative impact you both had on my life is unending. I know each of you made graphic and hardening mistakes in raising me. The aspects of your parenting methods affected me in ways so painstaking, I hope no other child ever has to understand them. The only thing I could ever have left to say to you both is: thank you. Thank you for giving me something no other person has attempted to indulge on me–your best. You tried your best. My mommy worked tirelessly for success. My dad defeated every challenge that plagued him. I can never take that away from you. I will never be more proud, or more satisfied, or more appreciative of any other two people on this earth. Thank you for loving me in the best ways you knew how. Thank you for putting your pain aside to reassure we had a shot at happiness. Thank you for being the best you that you could be. I will never stop trying to repay you for the deeds you have done. I can finally understand that raising me was complex. While I am broken, I stand tall. I stand in the shadows of legends. I wouldn’t trade that for any amount of riches that anyone could offer me.
Goodbye to my older sister, Alabama. I understand that older sisters are supposed to pave the way for their more delicate younger siblings. However, I never viewed us of having that relationship. I always saw us as equals, sharing in the same experiences and dealing with the same struggles in different ways. When my flaws consumed me, you were their with open ears; when life got the best of you, I was there with open arms. No matter how many times you fled from the flock and attempted to stand on your own, I always trailed behind to support you when you fell. I will never give up on you, like so many others have. Because I know with great certainty you will repay the favor. I have faced challenges that most people cannot wrap their head around, but you tried. You tried to help me through my suffering when most people didn’t notice it existed. You drove around with me for hours while I cried about things that did not make sense to you. And in one of my darkest and most painful moments of being on my own, you were the first person I called. The first person who picked up the phone at 3am and calmed the storms raging through my head. I have realized that while I see myself protecting you and the others, you were always silently in the background making sure I stayed safe. You are the one person who has continued to stay in my life, and understand me when no one else could. Thank you for that. Never forget about me, while you’re looking for yourself out there.
Goodbye to the most flamboyant ray of sunshine I have ever had the opportunity to meet, my younger sister Caitlyn. You’re brain is plagued with a lack of constructed knowledge, yet blessed with the most fluid intelligent thinking of anyone your age. It is rare to see someone develop into such pure spirit at such a frightening age. In the journey of finding myself, many times I dragged you down with me. (Including the times I dragged you down into the fireplace) And as I grew into my shoes, you were always by my side, even when I refused to acknowledge your existence. I distinctly remember when I first saw you in tears, and felt your pain in my own heart. In a split second I went from hating you, to doing anything on this earth to ease your pain, to have your back, to understand you, to fight any challenge that plagued you, to never leave your side (even when you begged me too). I know I make mistakes. I know that I do not always give you the best of me, but just being in the presence of someone so joyful, passionate and open; gives me a reason to try. I’m aware I typically go to far and literally shower you in love that annoys you, or give you rude advice that you refuse to take, or text you the most random and uncomfortable of times, because I see you as my own. I see you as a such a delicate seed, blossoming into the most gorgeous and powerful tree that this world as seen. And I will not rest until I know that you are safe, until you know how important you are to me, until you achieve the success that you deserve. Your girls and I have faith that you perfect in so many ways, and mature enough to fight you’re own battles. If my fat ass can make it, so can yours ;).
Goodbye to my baby, Destiny Marie. It is a lasting memory in everyone’s mind how much I hated the idea of you when I was a awkward fifth grader with a higher than thou complex. I can vividly remember all the tears I shed before you were born cursing God for plaguing me with such an unwanted masterpiece. Little did I know how strong my bond with another person could be. As mad as you make me, I have never wanted more for a child than I want for you. I remember thinking about how impatient I was about hearing you talk and listening to you construct ideas and opinions of your own. If only I knew how many times you would tell me you hated me! You gave me patience, peace, and the opportunity to watch someone grow up. You have made one of the biggest impacts on my life; blessing me with your smile and laugh, your insane and irrational ideas, your child like ambition, and the biggest heart that this world has ever seen. If I could tell my fifth grade self anything about you, it would be how you make the world a better place. Even when you’re screaming and punching me, you make me the happiest Bay alive. I can never forget attempting to sit you down and trying to explain to you how much I loved you, regardless of what anyone else thinks of you. I couldn’t do it. A mother cannot put into words how much she values her child’s life. I simply cannot put a number on it. While I will never take mommy’s place in your life (thank God because I cannot get you up for school) I will cherish you more than any other person on this earth. I love you more than every star in the sky, I love you to the moon and back, I love you most. In my heart, my baby you will always be.