Thursday, July 4, 2013

Have You Ever Really Thought About:

Today I sat down and composed an email to my cousin Chris' fiance, Brittany. They live about 40 minutes from where I am trying to take my life and so I asked the one question I didn't want to ask: 
"Do you mind opening up your home to me for a few weeks so I can job search and secure an apartment?"

No, I don't like having to ask anyone for anything, especially my own family but I started thinking about family this week and I also started thinking about how I got to where I am in life. I don't mean where I physically am but how my being alive even came to pass. Deep stuff.

Many of you know that my family and I typically don't have a great relationship. Most of the time I don't speak to most of them, especially my parents (who have been divorced since I was almost 6) or their spouses. I don't speak to my sister at all and my brother and I live really different lives though we love each other.  Two days ago I sent my mother a really long email telling her about how I was feeling about things and being brutally honest about things that I find hard to forget and even to forgive and I was honest about my relationship with Joseph, something that she isn't going to be thrilled about based on some of her views. I have yet to reach out to my dad since the divorce and since I changed my phone number but that's coming too.

There has been quite a bit going on in my life right now and the main thing is Joseph and I figuring out where we are going to live. His brother has a home that they will be vacating soon and they've offered to let us rent it BUT it's kind of pricey for us and it's not really close to anything so I'm not sure that is what we are going to do, regardless, I'm not able to move in until they move out which also means I can't really look for a job in Austin either. Apartments go quickly and with Fall semester of UT starting next month, they are really few and far between. Joseph has said a million times
"If you only had somewhere you could stay for a little bit so you could find a job down here, that would be so great." And he's right.

So I started talking and pleading with God to give me some kind of sign, some kind of answer, some guidance as to what I needed to do and once again God proved he had a sense of humor when showing me the steps I needed to take. This has been happening a lot lately, thus the reason I contacted my cousin and his fiance, still waiting on a reply (just sent it like 20 minutes ago) but it made me start thinking about my life in general.

I only know the family history of my dad's dad's side of the family. My first relative to come to the United States was 1/2 Scottish and 1/2 Irish. He came here with nothing. That really got me to thinking. First he's half of two places that were once in civil unrest, see, love does break down every barrier. Second, he took a chance. He took a chance and got on a boat and sailed across oceans full of sharks and other fish that wouldn't mind taking a bite out of him had anything crazy happened on his voyage over here. He didn't care that he would come here with nothing because to him, this was the land of opportunity.

A funny thing happened when he moved here. He didn't find one of the women or daughters who had come from other countries to the United States, instead, he went and found himself a Native American woman, Texanna Crow and they had several children including my great grandfather, James "Jim" Long Lively. Pa, as his grandchildren called him, also didn't have much and his children were raised by their stepmother but he worked his butt off and he provided for his family. In my dad's eyes, Pa could never do any wrong. Next in line came my Papaw, R.Q. Lively. He raised a daughter that wasn't his biological child in a time when things like that just didn't happen, he took a chance and he married my Nanny who was MUCH younger than himself but even before that he took chances. He lied about his age to enlist in the Army and serve his country, a huge risk in itself. He went and fought a war in a foreign country only to be haunted by the nightmares of things he saw while he was there. He barely had a 4th grade education but he was one of the smartest men I know. Then came my dad. Now I don't exactly have a great relationship with my dad but I have more respect for my dad than I do most people in this world.

When my dad was just started to walk, he contracted Polio and he never walked again. My dad never let Polio beat him. He wears braces on his legs and uses crutches to get around and while the toll of having to use his upper body is starting to shows its effects, he still isn't letting that stop him. My dad is a farmer and can do anything you dad can do except one thing. My dad was never able to carry his own children in his arms but we had something I think is much better. My dad would have us get on his back and he would crawl with us down the hall of our house and tuck us into bed, something no one can ever take away from me. My dad is prideful and doesn't take kind to help but my dad is amazing. 

My dad never thought he would get married and then he met my mom. My dad never thought he would have children and be a father and then I was born and then my brother. Sure, his marriage didn't last but he took a chance and out of that chance he got 2 children and 6 grandchildren. I said all that to say that had it not been for the first man, none of us would exist.  Had it not been for them taking chances and going after their hopes and dreams, none of our entire family would be who or where we are in life. So, I took a chance sending my cousin and his fiance a message about staying with them for a chance to move closer to my dream. I'm taking a huge chance but isn't that what life's all about?


  1. I love this, such a heartfelt post. I hope you are able to stay with your cousin!!

    Have a great holiday.

  2. Family is a great thing to have, even when we don't get along 100% of the time. At various times when I was growing up, we had to live with different relatives when we didn't have a house available, and I always thought it was incredible how people would open up their homes to us. One time we lived with my Uncle and Aunt for a few months--during that time, between my family and theirs, their small house had 4 adults and 12 children living in it. I thought it was a mark of amazing love that they would inconvenience themselves that much for our family.