a common motion


This past year I have really learned a lot about the importance of family.  I smile at that statement. For that word –family--has made itself present yet again in my life.  It seems as though the idea of family and all that it entails always finds its place amongst my yearly reflections.  Come to think of it, it seems that the more I get older, the more important family becomes and the more it sinks deeper into a much needed foundation and basis for my own personal growth.

I have realized I need it.  Judging from its habitual reputation, it’s no surprise that this realization is a constant one.  Clearly, not every day is perfect.  Let’s face it; there are days that are undeniably difficult. Downright  hard.  We all face them.  We all can relate to that one bad day where everything is up in shambles, and the domino effect is in full motion. The house is a mess, the constant cries for attention, or something to drink, ‘my blanky’ , or ‘my toy!’, the car won’t start, you are late for swimming lessons, and dinner..what’s for dinner?! And the only thing besides a desperate cry to God that helps me through is the simple love and comfort of those in my life—my family.

There are moments where I think of the ‘what ifs’ and the unknowns.  I allow myself to face the fear of uncertainty for just a split second.  And the question that is always dead center in front of me is, “what if I didn’t have my family?”  What if that love, happiness, laughter, and comfort that I live for went away.  It leaves me breathless.

Family understands hopes, frustrations, aspirations, struggles and fears.  Family offers to listen to our rants, give a hug, send an inspirational text, post that reassuring emoticon on fb to say, ‘hey-I get ya, I’ve been there’, make a joke, and ultimately pick us back up and provide a happiness to move forward.  Each day is a gift God graciously gives, and when those days aren’t perfect in our eyes, God graciously grants us another gift-a presence of family to help us learn and move forward.

Sure, this past year has brought obstacles and I survived the first six months of this year without my husband.  But the idea that I still held that security, despite it being a text, or voice rather than a physical comfort, gave me hope.  This drive to persevere through the months ahead was a direct reflection of the existence I call my family.  It gave me something to work towards and look forward to. I knew he’d be home sooner than later, and I dreamt of spending our family vacation together on the NC beach.  I imagined Jonah building sand castles while my mother-in-law told me stories of when she was younger with Patrick.  I dreamt of lazy Sunday afternoons with nothing to do but be together.  I smiled at the thought of seeing Jonah’s joy while playing with his daddy at the park, and feeling that embrace of my husband after being apart for far too long. 

With all that being said--A while back a friend of a friend posted a picture of a staircase wall project she had been working on.  It displayed an ancestry branch, each part of the branch marked photos of relatives and kin. This image was the perfect interpretation of a family tree. It shed light on the importance of heritage.  The photos aligned the staircase; giving the image such depth and the flourished branches a beautiful paralleled meaning.  It was inspiring.  I had that moment of realization that said I want to do that.  I need to do that. I need to do it to physically acknowledge what this past year has taught me.  

It was one of those nights where I couldn't sleep and this moment of realization turned into a moment of proclamation.  Several days were spent pondering and tweaking my vision.  I spoke with relatives, ordered photos and spent countless hours at the frame shop tweaking and configuring the perfect photo mats and frames.  Many emails were sent to the vinyl branch decal artist, and our living room floor became a canvas for frame mapping on more than one occasion. This past weekend the postman delivered my branch and with the help of my amazing husband, my vision came to life. 

Family is what makes me go. It’s what I need and live for. Whether it’s a simple hug to get me through the afternoon,  the vacation planned for next year, the imagery of a larger family, or a glance on the family wall staircase, it all generates a common motion; an extension of growth. 



beautiful and love the family tree of photo's.. your so talented in your writtings/projects. love you hon.

Caroline said...

That's such a great idea- looks amazing!

Jenn said...

I LOVE it Sarah! You are so creative and it looks beautiful! Can you come do one for me? :)

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