Dear New Family,
I have no idea who you are, and you have no idea who I am, and that’s ok. All I know about you is that you’ve bought my friend, Star’s, house, so let me wedge my way in here to be among the first to congratulate you. It’s always so exciting, isn’t it, starting a life in a new home, and knowing that you’ve got all this space to fill with memories and laughter. And I hope that your life inside those walls is everything you dream it can be.
But before you move in, there are a few things I want to tell you about the place you’ve just bought, so you’ll know what a treasure you’ve found.
In that house there were the most epic parties. Not in an “oh, hi, Officer, were we too loud again?” sort of way, and not in an “are we completely sure we got all the red plastic Solo cups out of the trees?” sort of way, but in an “I’m looking at my Facebook friends list and realizing that easily 30 of the people on the list are folks I met at Star Parties” sort of way. The musician who played at our wedding, and his lovely wife and their two kids who did Irish dances at my birthday? Met ’em at a Star party. The fellow I jokingly refer to as my boyfriend, regardless of what his husband thinks about that? Star party. I could seriously do this for a long time; so suffice it to say that yours is a house where people gathered together to have the best times, laughing and talking and debating and making music together. May you, too, celebrate with a depth and richness that brings people together and fills them with joy.
In that house “family” was redefined. My friend bought that house so she could care for her aging parents (one with Alzheimer’s, one with Parkinson’s). It was always meant to be a house for family to live in together. And when her two friends came to stay and help with her parents, the family expanded; and after her parents moved out of this life and into their next Grand Adventure, another roommate came to stay, and the family expanded again; and at some point, every one of us who has ever been in that house has realized that family is whatever you make it, and that we are a part of that grand and glorious family. May your family, too, be strong and vast and loving regardless of bloodlines or definitions.
In that house people were real. They came together to laugh. They came together to cry. They came together to argue, sure, but then they came together to find their common ground and try again. They behaved well or behaved badly; they did the right thing on the first try or made mistakes and asked for forgiveness; they said exactly what people wanted to hear or exactly what people needed to hear or sometimes nothing at all; but at the end of it, they were honest and upfront and beautifully flawed. May you, too, have the strength to live your truth, as magically perfect and inevitably imperfect as it may be.
In that house, above all things, there was love. There was love because, and love despite. There was love through hope, love through transition, love through frustration, and love through fear. There was love in hello, love in goodbyes that we knew were coming, and love in goodbyes that caught everyone off-guard. There was love that healed, love that uplifted, love that welcomed, and love that fought. There was love for people who came from very far away, and love for people who lived just down the hall. If you came into that space with love in your heart, you left with it multiplied; and if you came needing love, you left with more than you could carry. May you, too, above all else, have love.
So congratulations, new people, and welcome home. It’s not my place to offer you a housewarming bottle of wine or potted plant; but I can offer you these words, and these blessings, and my prayer that your life there will be as memorable as the lives of the people who lived there before you. We’re gathering together for one last Star party this weekend, and I promise, we’ll do everything we can to fill the house near to bursting with one last grand whoop of laughter so it will still be echoing when you move in. Enjoy yourselves there; goodness knows we all did.
Blessings and light,