That's how that line goes, right? Little Ms. Atheist isn't as well-versed in the theologically inspirational lines as she'd like to think she is, but I'm pretty sure I've gotten that one right.
Three years ago, I sat on your porch and you told me how excited you were for me, that my move to another city and another country was going to be sunshine and rainbows and magic. You told me that I'd forge new relationships, ones that might just outshine those I was leaving behind. You told me, in so many words, that I'd find a new you.
Now, you are almost never wrong. Most of the things you say to me end up being dead-on correct, I just don't always see it right away. You seem to know things that I don't, understand things that I can't yet. I can only attribute this to you either A) being some creepy psychic sage or B) being old enough to know better. I'm going with B.
This time, though, this one time, I was right. You were wrong. For once, I knew something you didn't know.
I knew that you were not just anyone. I knew that I'd been waiting my whole life for you. I knew the measure of the empty space in my heart, and that it would take more than just a friend, more than just a mother to fill it.
For all of these years we've had together, you've stood back and let me stumble, you've watched me fall, you've stood at the edge of that hole I keep digging myself into and told me to get the fuck out of there already. You've never rescued me, but you've certainly saved me. You've never forced me, but you've guided me. You've never imposed, but you've always suggested. You've been the mother I didn't think I wanted and the friend I didn't think I needed.
I can't articulate how much I want to be at your table tonight, lighting your birthday candles. I can't tell you how much I miss being wrapped up in the middle of your family. I honestly am shocked at how badly I want to watch your grandchildren unwrap your birthday presents, how much I want to go smoke with your husband and talk about the motorcycle, to hear your son in law laugh, to hug your daughter until my arms burn, to lay my head on your son's shoulder, to see my kids run into your arms and to know that we're home.
That house, those people, the world you've created around you, the one you decided to share with me for reasons I'll never know; that's what I've looked my whole life for. It was that place, that feeling, that thing I'd seen on paper and film, but never really knew before.
You are my heart, my family, my friend and my home. And maybe you've got just enough years on me to know better about most everything else, but finally I'm old enough to know one little thing; I will never, ever let anything shut that door.