I’m sitting in Tabitha’s parent’s dining room as I’m writing this. The house is quiet now, but earlier today there were the sounds of her brother playing the piano, her other two siblings frantically learning calculus from their father, mom and sister cooking, and then some guests (I think). The day before there were even more people doing even more things. Coordinating rides. planning which movie to watch. Catching up on homework. Calling the grandparents. Planning shopping excursions. It was chaos. (Well, it wasn’t exactly a well-ordered machine.) But it was good chaos. It was the chaos that meant family. Life. Friends. Community.

Tabitha and I have been thinking a lot about the future. Laughing about where we’re going to live. Who we’re going to be. I’ve spent a lot of time in the past few weeks mulling over the future as well, thinking about different medical treatments and their potential impact on the rest of my life. There seem to be so many unknowns, that it’s difficult to make an informed decision. As Dr. Leo pointed out recently regarding my graduate school situation, a lot of those variables are not even up to me. I’m waiting to see what other people decide or how other things turn out.

But sitting here in the dining room, I’m sure of one thing. No matter what, Tabitha and I keep coming back to the same conclusion. We want life, full and dynamic. A life full of people we’re related to, people who love and support us, people who need us, and people we need.

Thinking over the past few days with Tabitha’s family, I’ve realized that life can be messy. It can defy the order that I like so much. It’s unpredictable. It’s composed of many moving parts. It doesn’t always work the way we imagine it.

As I sit in the living room and hear all the conversations or watch Tabitha’s three brothers fight over what song they’re going to sing next, I realize that it might not be ordered, but it’s definitely alive. These are real people. And that’s a good thing. Because as much as I love peace and quiet, I can’t live in a world where everything is inanimate. I think the stillness itself would kill me.

So I’m grateful for the time with Tabitha’s family. While I don’t know yet who I’ll marry or how many children I have, I do know that I’ll always find myself surrounded by real living people. It’ll keep life interesting. It’ll keep my own life full of life.

Abigail

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