Updated: Nov 26, 2020
***I decided upon a group of people who were affectionately known as "The Cliff".
Yaw. Ya'll. Yall. * smile *
The year was 2014 and I had just moved on the Cliff, somewhat scared and heartbroken over a love story that didn't pan out. I didn't see us coming. I didn't see you all coming. But God moved His chess pieces in ways that only He could foresee the impact they would have on each of us. It's no secret that the friendship and love we created between two neighbor houses that shared a fenced in front yard was immeasurable. Looking back, there was no way to sustain that type of energy between all us for life. We were gifted the ability to let our guards down and be lights to each other so we would know how to go out into the world and be that to others. Circumstances landed two households as neighbors for the next two years. In that time, a family was born between a small group of people who both lived there or visited often.
Eric. Robin. Ro. Earl. Naz. You each gave me the gift of pure love. A love that felt infinite and alarming. A love that became a place of solitude. When I lost my best friend to a stroke, God saw it coming. He put us all together just in time. You all helped me come out of my grieving space and assisted me with finding creative ways to celebrate her memory. We partied to honor our lost loves and we cried together when we couldn't take it anymore. We ate and broke bread together, prayed together and let each other see peeks and hints of enough vulnerability to know that we weren't in this life alone or misunderstood. You all left me feeling like I deserved to be loved and have friendship; two things I often wondered about.
To say I thank you would be an understatement. I love you dearly, individually and as a whole. You helped push me to the next level and greater parts of my life. It is a lifelong impact. I still reminisce on how often we sat on the porch and turned regular evenings into front yard get together or therapy sessions. You helped me heal, although not fully, but in ways that are here forever. I only hope that in my daily living, I can pass that torch of love to others. That I might be able to make other people feel like they are just as deserving of love, respect and psychological support as you all did me (and still do). We aren't neighbors anymore and we've all grown on to other things, but the love you left on me is for life. I hope to welcome others as I learned to be more welcoming because of you. I pray for you all, always.
I give thanks and love for you in all ways. May God continue to watch you over,
***I hope that whenever you find yourselves at the Edge of the Cliff, you aren't afraid to jump, knowing that it ain't suicide if you can fly. And if anyone can fly, it is all of you.
I love you forevermore.
This is a beautiful letter. I wish I could find a better adjective to describe your heartfelt words to a unified group to which you belonged. I have never had a student write to both an individual(s) and to a unified group before. This is truly unique and brilliant. In John 17, Jesus prays for unity among the body of believers. I am convinced that this prayer is the epi-center of importance for us- and you touched upon it in your letter to the group. What a wonderful experience you must have had with everyone. I have no doubt their lives were impacted in the same way. Thank-you for sharing this part of your life with us. It is inspirational and quite lovely.
-Theresa Veach, IWU