Putting the fun in dysfunctional since 1982 (or before).

April 21, 2010 § 1 Comment

There is much to tell you.  About school, and degree audits, and how Raleigh is becoming a rather beautiful word.  Turns out, I am putting down roots.  If you know me well, you know this is a crazy wild idea.  The group of people I’ve spent much time with over the past few weeks is equally as beautiful.  More on them to come later.  First, family.

A couple of weekends ago, I drove down to McColl, SC (if you know where that is you’ve got way too much free time or you’re just as hick as me!!!) to attend the annual Cemetery Party.  Yeah, you heard me. And y’all, I don’t know what sort of apocalypse happened, but my sister Renee’ was there.  Yes, seriously!  I found out she was coming just hours before the party and my heart about beat out of my stinking chest.  Then I learned that my brother, David, and my mom’s brother, my Uncle Bill, were coming.  And I just about fell out.  This combination of people is DEADLY.  No one is safe.  I’m wary of the (eventual, long-off, in a land far far…let’s not talk about it okay??) day I get married, because throwing my brother, my dad, Uncle Bill, and any other male with a sarcasm button together and you should really just stay home.

While the cemetery party is never long enough, and leaves me crying with thankfulness on the drive home, I more than enjoy the few short hours I get to spend with the people I came from.  More than anything, I am a Harris.

I returned to Raleigh with a lighter heart.  And pressed in hard so that I could go see my great friend, Rob, graduate Spec!al Force$. I wasn’t all that sure what to expect, but really shouldn’t have been worried.  You can’t have a child as big-hearted and hilarious as Rob Parish without coming from good people.  Within hours, they had taken me in, sharing their lives and family stories as if I should have always been with them.  Aunt Kathy and I rode with the windows down, I took an afternoon hike with Jan, and talked life with Noni within 3 hours of meeting her.  While the men are hilarious, these women are beautiful.  By dinnertime on Friday night, I found myself looking around, realizing that I was sitting in the same row as them, laughing and sharing life.  And I thought, “How privileged am I?  Maybe I have them all fooled!”  By the end of the night, I was shag dancing with Uncle Jim and belting out Oasis songs (it was God-awful, for the record.  I mean, OASIS.  Dying cats could just as easily be written in for Oasis).  Just hours later, my phone died, and I was without a charger.

We had been planning to drive to the coast and I didn’t worry about getting numbers out of my phone as I would use Rob’s phone. And then Rob’s phone died.  And we were stranded at the ocean with lots of family and no connections to the outside world.


My phone, literally, would not turn on until I entered Cary on Sunday morning.  I was, and am, so thankful.

Of course, just like my family, no one can escape the Parish clan unscathed.  My name was all KINDS of mis-pronounced and resulted in (a very tired Momma) Linda referring to me as “armchair”.  And it just took OFF.  I, officially, have a new nickname.  Other than family names, it’s my first actual nickname and, I gotta tell you, I love it.  Please call me armchair.  I want that in my friggin’ obituary.  “Amaris ‘armchair’ Hames passed away as a result….”  Come on!  You cannot tell me some random person would not look at that and be like, “What tha…?”  And really, that’s the kind of lasting impression I’m going for.

I don’t know if the Parish clan or the Harris clan realize how much they bless my soul.  Or how proud I am to call them friends and family.  Even with only a small amount of time spent with them, they bring me incredible joy.  And, just like the beautiful people I have in my life locally, their presence results in me not only wheezing with laughter, but with a lighter heart.  My prayer is that you, too, would be surrounded by people that encourage you, make you laugh, and leave your heart lighter.


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