I guess you could say I’m “from good stock”! At least that’s how Papa Avery always would say it. Daddy was a preacher’s son with a mom who played piano beautifully. Mom is from a very poor farming family whose home was filled to overflowing with love. Never for a second in my life did I have to wonder if I was loved. I watched Mom love Daddy and spoil him. She never walked past his recliner that she didn’t bend down and kiss him on his handsome bald head. I saw Daddy look at her with so much love. He loved all of us in his own quiet, deeply emotional way.
My childhood was beautiful. My two older sisters always showed me love even though I know I cramped their style sometimes. Visits to my grandparents’ farm, huge family gatherings for holidays filled with noise and laughter, a wonderful church family that loved me, and a solid family made my life so blessed. I guess I was born loving music. It speaks to a place in my heart that nothing else can touch. My mom encouraged me to develop my music and helped me continue to love it. Now, please understand, it was not perfect. I was extremely shy and went through some very difficult times with friends, self-esteem, and depression because of it. But, when I think of my childhood, I don’t think about those things.
I have this enormous love of nature that comes directly from Mom and her parents. We planted flowers, played with baby goats, raised tiny kittens, talked to butterflies, fed dozens of hummingbirds, woke up in the middle of the night to lie on the driveway and watch for meteors and so much more. I still do all of these things and have carried on the tradition with my girls.
Most of what I learned in childhood, I learned from watching the example of my parents. Our faith was such an important part of my life that I cannot even separate any part of my life from my it. Then one day my faith was put to the test. Daddy was diagnosed with terminal cancer in the form of a brain tumor. It was in the spring of my freshman year in college. He was given a short period of time to live. My college years at that point are just a blur. Those were really rough days. I have to honestly say that God simply carried me through. He passed away 15 months after his diagnosis. I watched my mom completely, selflessly surrender her life to the care of Daddy.
I met my amazing husband at the beginning of the journey with Daddy’s illness. I will always know that he was sent from God as a gift to me for that time and for the rest of my life.
So, where does this leave me? Who am I really? I have to laugh because sometimes I am really not sure. But these things I do know….because of my family, I love deeply for I have known such deep love. I serve because I have watched selfless servanthood. I am moved by nature because it is a part of my very being. I enjoy solitude because I observed it in my Dad. Music continues to be my place of solace and peace. My faith is everything to me. In all of my imperfections, God is still my refuge and strength. I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a child of the King, and the daughter of two of the most loving parents in the world.