Just Write {122}

February 11, 2014

You create a space for people to be vulnerable, he said. The way you talk about recovery, especially. And it’s just kindness, you treat people with such kindness, they feel safe…”

The funny thing is, I was leaning on a bar when he said this. I was ordering drinks, mine with no booze, his and hers with.

And in telling me this, he let me know he saw me. He really saw me, took me in. And I wanted to cry because wow, thank you and because I want so badly to be kind, I want people to be able to feel safe with me, always. Anyone.

This guy, the one that said these things, is the kind of guy that loves, just like me, to talk about Big Things for hours, and he has a great sense of humor and killer writing skills. He’s young and in love and getting married in June. He wrote a book and it’s coming out very soon and I’m of the opinion that each of you should read it.

His name is Preston Yancey and I got to see him and many others this weekend. I showed up not knowing there would be “many others” that I knew, I was only there to see two, and I did. The two who I’ve known for, I don’t know, six years? From across miles of pastures and bumpy roads and snow that I had and they did not. They were way down here and I was way up there but knowing is what we did. We quietly stepped into each other’s lives through stories and we stuck.

I picked the husband of the two up from the airport and we talked about sobriety and writing and God, just like that. Get in the car, drive in circles trying to get somewhere and keep talking. Go.

Then we found his wife, where I was bringing him, and he pushed through people to get to her and they hugged long and hard, two puzzle pieces, connecting, and I started talking to one of the many others that I didn’t know I’d get to see. Moments later, I saw her coming, that beautiful wife, and it’s been too long and too much has happened and we could feel it all, across those miles, heavy on each other this whole time. Come here, go. So we hugged long and hard too and passed all these silent thoughts and feelings between us because we know, we just know.

If I had magical powers I would give these two weeks and weeks in a quiet place to read and then take naps and then write and then pray and then think and then read and write and pray and sleep more. That’s all. No chores, no work, no medical mysteries, just silence. They need this, like so many of us, and even more, I think. I wish I could make these things come true for them and maybe that would be just a small gift returned for the many gifts they’ve given me by being who they are.

People who love with no lines, no boundaries, not just me, but everyone. People who give Christians a good name. I say what I really think and feel, just as it is, right or wrong, struggle or joy and they don’t get uncomfortable. Acceptance.

I want to knit at the miles between us until I pull them here. Go.


This is the 122nd installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {Please see the details here.} I would love to read your freely written words so join me and link up below. You can add the URL of your post at any time. Just be sure it’s a link to your Just Write post, not to your main page, and please don’t link to posts that are not freely written in the spirit of capturing moments–you know, don’t link to how-to posts, lists or sponsored posts. Also, please link back to this post in yours so people know where to go if they’d like to join in.


rebecca@altaredspaces.com February 11, 2014 at 10:07 am

“I want to be kind.”

You are proof that we get what we want.

This is a wonderful gift.

When my husband and I made our wedding vows I took the verse, “A promise to out-do one another in showing kindness,” and placed it at the center.

It’s been a good way to live a marriage. Even if challenging. :)
rebecca@altaredspaces.com recently posted..8 hours of pause to parent for 8 seconds? worth it.

Elaine A. February 11, 2014 at 10:53 am

Acceptance is so key. The world would be a much better place if there was SO much more of it. Glad you got to be with these amazing people in your life.

Elaine A. recently posted..Oh…Barbie…

Seth February 11, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Sheesh… you are a good lady and better big sister. Every word Preston said about you is true.
Seth recently posted..Here’s To The Human Crutches

Amber C Haines February 11, 2014 at 3:50 pm

I’m just in a puddle of tears. Thank you, sister.

Alia Joy February 11, 2014 at 4:15 pm

You are kind. I met you in passing, remember the Clay pit in Austin? And we ate Indian food and I couldn’t place you at first, standing in the buffet line, but you looked familiar and then you said your name and I remembered this Just write and how you share bits of your life and you don’t hold back and it makes everyone breathe a bit easier and you’re right, they are the best kind of people. The kind that makes you think there is hope for the church and God and loving each other a bit better and sitting in conversations where you don’t agree and it’s just fine to say so and still be friends. I’ve brushed up against them here and there, and I’d have to agree, they always seem to make room.

Liz February 11, 2014 at 9:58 pm

There is nothing like acceptance and the feeling of being safe with someone. What a gift.
Liz recently posted..Discomfort: Just Write Tuesdays

Preston February 11, 2014 at 10:09 pm

You’re just wonderful. Thank you.

erin margolin February 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm

I am lately having a hard time being vulnerable. But when I come here and read… I remember and know this is a safe space. You catch us when we fall, Heather.

erin margolin recently posted..Just Write: Delays and Doctors

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