Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Less and More.

Too tired to work anymore, I sat propped in the south corner of the pigeon's nest- watching Joel and Terry throw up the last few pieces of drywall. I must have begun to fall asleep; you know, that stage of falling asleep where you become only half aware of the noises and movements around you- where your stream of conscious becomes louder than the squeal of the drywall jack as your mind sorts through itself, wrapping up loose ends, before it drifts off.

I began to think about what the room we were working in will be like when it's done. How it will feel to draw warm laundry out of a dryer in the sunshine, what the air would smell like as cool autumn rain intermingled with the scent of laundry soap. Winter will come...hmm...winter. Maybe we'd get to finally have a Christmas tree. Our first Christmas tree. Our first Christmas tree as a real, bonafide family!

But then I thought of my parent's Christmas tree and felt a wave of sadness. I've been so excited about being committed not just in my heart to Joel- but in the eyes of all of our family, friends, and community. So nervous about what it'll be like being a wife, biting my lips over the endless possibilities of things greater than ourselves we finally be able to achieve. It just hit me- that whole part where a woman and man leave their families to join as has more than just the joining bit.

Even though I'm not leaving- there is a shift.

I suppose I felt it a little last Christmas. Joel has a fractured family with several households- I've only ever spent Christmas with my own. My own little tight knit Elston four-person family. Even at that- times at home always seemed too short. But last Christmas, having to split the short day with some many people, cheapened the entire thing. It was a lot of running- and not much loving. Now, I'm really getting more family- does it mean less of my own? And what of the "new" family Joel and I will be? Does it mean my family will think of me less of an Elston because of a percentage of me is technically something else?

I just don't know what to say. I am so grateful for my family. If, for the rest of my life, nothing ever went right again- I would still count myself among the most blessed people in the history of the world because of the love they have shared and the things they have taught me. But now, I'm making a decision to branch off of the tree, so to speak, and grow into and around another.

I had pushed most of these thoughts to the back of my mind as I worked doing my usual shop upkeep today. But, as I settled in to create the invitations for the small group of loved ones invited to our ceremony, it all welled inside again.

What was meant to be a separate page simply detailing the comings and goings of Friday (not explained on the Saturday postcards for the BBQ)- turned into a note I had trouble putting into words and keeping brief. It's always hard to know when your heart pours over if it will be understood- so I hope my letter-ish invitation to my family reads with this message:

I love you.

You've done well loving and raising me.

The best way I can thank you is promising to do the same in this new family we're making.

I sealed the envelope, so even an hour later I can't go back and reread my thoughts. I'd probably find a misspelled word or something and get all irritated. I'm hand drawing/coloring the few Friday invitations, and it took me a billion years to make my immediate family's because I didn't know what I going back now.

My last name is going to change. I'm going to have a whole new title- a whole new responsibility. People are going to look at me differently, strangers will have a different set of expectations when they read my name with the prefix "Mrs.".

In my heart though, I know that I will always have a ferocious loyalty to the very few I call my family, I will always have an ingrained sense of what is right and just, and I will always feel like I'm late if I'm not twenty minutes early.

Whatever changes on September 23rd between 3 and 4 in the afternoon- whomever I become as this new person in this new role- it will be built solidly on being an Elston.


  1. Gomez: You are Mr. Debbie!

    Uncle Fester: I am an Addams!

  2. No one ever said you had to change your name, the fact is that in many professional circles of your generation it is seldom done anymore. Besides, I happen to like your name.