Monday, September 19, 2011

Our Love Story—Meeting my Family

The next day Rob and I drove to St. Helens where I finally got the chance to take him on a hometown tour of my own, including introducing him to many of my family members and my favorite restaurant of all times, Sunshine Pizza.

I was far less nervous about him meeting my family than I was about him meeting mine. If my family had opinions about who dated whom, they never said anything. I knew my family would have a little bit of a hard time letting go of the thought of me and my high school sweetheart (seriously, several of them still had pictures of he and I up around their house which I politely asked them to take down before Rob came over), but I knew they’d eventually grow to love Rob even more.

And they did. Despite the fact that Rob was rather quiet, they saw that he was a good man and it was obvious I cared deeply for him. I’d brought a number of boyfriends home in the past so my introducing him to my family was a little less dramatic than him introducing me to his.

At one point on our short trip through St. Helens I took him down to the docks to hang out by the Columbia River. Three young scantily clad teenage girls came walking down to the docks with their babies all in strollers. At least one had a cigarette hanging out of her mouth. Red necked fishermen were casting their lines or loading up their boats and everyone around seemed to be drinking or smoking something. Welcome to St. Helens!

This picture Rob was brewing in his mind of what my home town was like, accompanied by his realization from my home town tour that I really truly grew up in backwoods, redneck Oregon made him honestly question for the first time if he had any idea of what he was getting himself into. I think for a brief moment in time he wanted to get in his car and drive away just like I’d wanted to do just over a week earlier.

We were undoubtedly an unlikely pair to say the least!

He grew up in a family grounded in their morals who, though not perfect, were well-polished to some degree. I grew up a family that was not only dysfunctional to the core, but we let our dysfunction hang out for the world to see. It’s just part of who we are. Our family tree is so full of ex’s, twice-removed, halves, steps, once were’s and used to be’s that it was nearly impossible for Rob to keep track of who’s who in my family. Some people had no problem drawing their family tree in school—I was not one of those children! Despite having done my best to explain my world to Rob, he was just now beginning to get the full picture of what I had been talking about. 

But in the end, it wasn’t where I came from that made me who I was. It helped shape me, but it didn’t define me anymore than Rob’s hometown defined him. We were two people created by God that were raised in different states geographically, in different hemispheres culturally and different worlds spiritually. Yet here we were, brought together by God for purposes we were only beginning to understand!

After a very brief stay in my hometown we said our good-byes and Rob headed back to Salem. It would only be a week or so before I’d make my way down there and we’d travel down to Southern Oregon for him to meet my mom and step-dad, then we’d have a short time together again after that before we’d part for the Summer. The end was coming way too quickly. Way, way, way too quickly!

Click on the "Our Love Story" tag at the top of the page to see other love story posts, or to start from the beginning.

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