It was 5 years ago that John and Marisa started dating. Three years ago Marisa's home life fell apart and she needed a place to live. She picked our very quiet and calm home ;) . With John away at school, Kaitlin and I widened our Mother/Daughter duo to include her and we became a trio. She joined us for our lunches out and girls evening in when Carl was away. She made me watch The Housewives of New York, America's Next Top Model and The Gilmore Girls. (I can watch the second two but there is too much drama in those 'housewives' shows for me) The Gilmore Girls was especially fun because that was such a girl thing. If John or Carl were ever home when we were watching they were required to keep total silence if they chose to stay in the room we were in. If not, let's just say , it only happened once and it wasn't pretty.
Marisa began painting my toe nails. No one ever had as nice or as artistic toes as me! She took over the cleaning of the kitchen and if has never looked better. The first dresser she used had the squeakiest drawers and later I leaned that that was a signal between she and Kaitlin, that she was up and the visiting could begin.
I loved hearing the early morning laughter from the girls bathroom as they got ready for class.
Marisa became the fashion police. We are all better dressed because of her influence. Even Carl was not above her disapproving look if what you had on that day didn't look good. I remember the look on his face when she told him the first time that he was not even going to work dressed in the pants he had picked out. (They really didn't match the shirt he had on and she bought him a shirt to match those rust colored pants he dearly loves).
It was fun to shower her with gifts and then in turn, see her do the same to her siblings and cousins.
It was my privilege to see her heal and blossom and now go forth. Oh, but it is hard.
She and John are moving her stuff into the apartment that John is living in little by little. She has here what she needs to for her day to day living but all the extra's she is moving.
Last Saturday as she came past me, with her arms full of her books and things, she paused and said that her room really looked bare. She put down all that she had in her arms and came to me. As we stood hugging, she very quietly said " This is hard." We both cried. It is hard.
I am so thankful that she has come to know this as her home, her safe place, her refugee. I am so thankful that God opened my heart and gave me such a love for Marisa. I am thankful that He provided Kaitlin with such a giving spirit that as soon as Marisa moved in, whatever she needed, if Kaitlin had it, Marisa could use it. I am thankful for Carl and his giving spirit. I am thankful for his willingness to let our home have a constant flow of people in and out.
Yes, it is hard. but this is a good hard. This means that roots were put down, memories made, conflicts worked out all by the grace of God.
I asked Marisa is she wanted to take the bedspread that I gave her two Christmases ago. She said emphatically said "NO!" "That bedspread stays here in my room so when I come home, it will be on my bed." Nuf said
Two more weeks till lots of changes take place. When all the dust settles and all the relatives go home and we find out what new normal is around here, it will be hard. But I am so glad it will be!