June 8, 2005


One of the saddest things about being a brat is our lack of family roots. Although some families are particularly good at working through this, others of us just don't know what it is to be truly part of an extended family. We are still "company" when we come to town. Most of our cousins, aunts, uncles, and even grandparents have never been to most of the places we've lived. They don't know anything about our lives (especially if yours is the only military family in your family). They see us only in their own setting. When we visit them, we get to see their friends, glimpses of their lives. But they don't get the same insight into who we are. Therefore we never really completely belong there either.

I love to go "home" to Alabama, where my mother is from. It has been one of the few constants in my life, and I love it.... For so very many reasons. As I write this I am preparing to go to a family reunion this weekend - much joy and anticipation accompanies these plans.... However, as close as I am to this side of my family, I'm still not completely one of them - I am more so than my brother, but not equal to my cousins.

My favorite person in the entire world is my Granddaddy. He once introduced me as his "Yankee granddaughter." Made me so mad I didn't talk to him for a whole hour (which is a long time for me and him). My uncle corrected him (he became my hero that day) - no she was born out west - she's a REAL cowgirl. I was probably 4 or 5 at the time. That was the first time I think I really realized that while I may be his favorite grandchild, I didn't really belong in his world. Down south, I was considered from "up north." In the North, people commented on my accent and how southern I was. My speech would slip from one accent to another depending upon my mood and what I was talking about. I began to deliberately control my accent. I learned to speak fairly accent free for the most part. For a long time I tried very hard to keep all accents out of my speech so as to not be reminded that I'm "not from around here."

I am immensely proud of my southern heritage; I am also proud of my northern heritage (Yes, I am the product of a Yankee marrying a southern belle). However, I don't really fit into either family. So like most Brats I know, I've created my own extended "family." This is made up of a few extremely close friends who have kept in touch across the years and across the miles that separate us. These become the people we turn to and the people we depend upon. The people we identify with. It makes me sad for that which I have missed out on. But this adopted family of mine also reminds me of the family which I have been adopted into through the blood of Christ on the cross and His resurrection. A family which is a conglomeration of peoples from all over the globe, who call Jesus Christ, Lord of their lives

While my "roots" may be an inch deep, the freedom that this allows to help me to walk out my Faith in Christ, where-ever and when-ever He calls is something that I wouldn't trade for the world. As I read some of these posts they seem a little sad, I want to be very clear.... I LOVE that God allowed me to be blessed by being born (conscripted at birth) into a military family. Many people don't understand the far reaching and extreme differences, that innately implies for our lives, as "Brats." My wish is simply to share a tiny glimpse into some of the differences and the blessings that come along with Gypsy Feet.

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