13 February 2012

a love letter: personal

[We always joke about being too behind to send Christmas cards and "oh, we'll just send a Valentine's Day card!" Yet again, we didn't get around to it this year. So instead, I decided to write a sort of re-cap of 2011.

Dear Mom & Dad, you might want to get a kleenex. Little bro, sorry for the sap.]

About a half dozen years ago, Mom and I were shopping for some nondescript items at a Hallmark store and came across a little canvas that read:

:: Our family is about remembering what matters, letting go of what doesn't, laughing, loving, and knowing life is good because we have each other ::

We loved it so much, we bought it. I did some fancy (novice at the time) photoshop work and super-imposed it over our Christmas card. I know, I was such a trendsetter. But, it was a hit. Now the canvas hangs in our house and coincidentally, finds its way into the background of a lot of family holiday photos.

Long story short: this little saying has proven itself day in and day out in 2011. It seemed at times like life was kicking us when we were down and we could barely come up for air. Moments when we got the wind knocked out of us and we were unsure if light would come the next morning.

But God always pulled us out and revived us. The sun always rose again and life kept on.

And remarkably, we kept on with it. The four of us together. In the hardest times, we clung to each other, knowing that no one else knew our struggles as well as we did. We loved each other so hard it hurt.

I read not that long ago the story of a family mourning the loss of their son. The father wrote this beautiful passage about how vital it is for the core members of a family to be in tune with each other and physically together in mourning, not letting outsiders in. This way, the loss can be felt just as clearly and beautifully as when the son was first born. The core group surrounded one another and welcomed this little life into the world and now, in the same way, they must usher it out in love.

2011 did not bring this sort of tragedy, but it brought challenges in other forms. And still, when the challenge arose, the four of us looked at each other for a sense of peace and a reminder that yes, we must continue to trust that the light will come in the morning.

And it always did. The light found us huddled together, remembering that we have each other and life was good again.

2012 has already proven itself to be good to us all professionally and personally. And we are prayerful that this trend continues. We remember to laugh every day. To cherish the little moments we're together and the moments we are apart.

The beautiful part of being a member of a close-knit family is that the other people know you better than you know yourself. When you are chest-deep in struggle and hardship, there are three people who are ready and waiting to help dig you out when you can't seem to find your own shovel.

I am really thankful every day that there are three people who know where we keep the shovels.



  1. Sydnee, thank you so much for visiting my blog and for your lovely and thoughtful comment. I've written directly to you there so I won't repeat it here but I'm so thrilled and excited for you and your family visit to the GC this summer. After reading this lovely blog post about your family and your connection I know that your visit to that place will be deeply rewarding for you. It is such a spiritual place that you can't help but look inside yourself. Thanks so much again for your kind words about my work and for taking the time to look me up after seeing it at the MPLS Photo Center. I hope you'll visit my blog again soon! :)