Comedy, in the context of classical literature, isn’t about things being funny, it’s more about the trajectory of a story. Tragedy, for example, usually starts with a protagonist that is respected in a positive setting and ends in a negative situation such as death or the defilement of the protagonist. A comedy, begins in or quickly descends into a dire predicament that gradually becomes resolved and changed. Comedies often times end in weddings or other happy occasions. This is a very broad definition of classical comedies and tragedies but the main difference between the two is the trajectory. Is the story a slide downwards into darkness or a climb upwards to light?
As you know from my past blogs, we had invited our first foster daughter’s (Melody) family to live with us (We will refer to the family as “The Medlocks”). One week short of a year, after many achieved goals, and struggles overcame, they have finally found a place to be on their own. I will share our year together in four parts, or four “acts”. After reading them, my hope is that you will see how God wrote us into a perfect Comedy.
The first act begins in the summer and ends in the fall, August to November. Seasons, weather, colors, and many other things like these are also used heavily in classical literature to depict different moods and settings, our story’s timeline falls perfectly into seasons. The titles of these blogs are inspired by the music album “Feared by Hell” by Social Club Misfits, which became very tied to our families time together. It was one of the things we could all enjoy and relate to. We played these songs so much that even Melody and her sister Maliah knew the words to several of them! I didn’t realize it then, but now that they’re gone, every time I listen to this album, it brings back all the memories. For me it has become forever associated with them and the year we shared our home.
The story starts in an atmosphere of nervous excitement and anticipation for a new journey. After being close to an eviction and having no where to go, the Medlocks moved in with us, the Garriga’s, and we both started on a path that we didn’t know the end to. The environment was full of promise, many new opportunities and ideas to share and grow together.
Imagine the sky clear, the hot summer sun high in the sky and the leaves on the trees dressed in bright emerald green on a bed of lush grass. Imagine a house, our house, sitting in the middle of this clear picturesque day, resting in the tranquility of the bird’s songs. Waiting. Waiting to receive into itself a metric ton of energy, a sprinkle of chaos, and an infinite amount of love.
Act One: Is that OK?
Seasons: Summer to fall
“I am the place, the stage of life, where people can become family or enemies. I see it all, I conceal it, absorb it into my walls. From the outside, I stand stoically, a heavy block of wood, cement and glass, but if you come inside you will feel the radiating energy that those inside me have created. They are what make me either a house or a home.
I saw them walk in, with all their belongings, their children, their pets. I saw the fears, the hopes, the dreams, and the uncertainties attached to them. I saw all, more than any of the inhabitants. I was there in every room as things were moved around, set up, unpacked. There with those already settled, as their minds became unsettled with both hopeful and worrisome thoughts. My floors became a little heavier and a lot more active, welcoming new gaits and new rhythms.
I was a witness to the commitments made, I heard every single conversation exchanged, smelled every meal cooked, felt every emotion seeping from their skin, tasted every heart’s intent. I saw them grapple with each other and care for each other as they all learned how to live together. It was a start of a new adventure, a new trajectory where new obstacles will arise and new summits will present themselves cordially. I held them, sheltered them, and in a sense I still do. The essence of their spirits linger within me, memories written on my walls, pictures painted into my foundation.
—— Can you imagine what a house knows? If the walls could speak, what would they say about your family? It probably knows more than you! When we first agreed to have Melody’s family live with us, a sinking feeling in my stomach plagued me. The twisting knots and constant clawing had me pinned with worry. In all honesty, my main concern was me. Myself. I know myself, and I could already see myself being consumed by stress and doing things on my own instead of confronting others about it. I knew I would need the support of my husband to consistently help center me on God’s truth day in and day out. When we got to the family’s apartment to help with the moving, it was obvious that it had been a few months that depression and stress had a hold of the home. Much of it coming from the birth of a new baby in conjunction with losses of jobs and income. Statistically, kids who re-enter foster care, usually go back within 6 months of reunification. Seeing the signs of decline in stability in Melody’s family, we started talking about how we can help. The whole situation got me wondering how many kids who find themselves back in foster care after being reunified, may not be necessarily because of outright abuse or intentional neglect. Many may go back because real life situations, situations many of us have support and resources to endure, and these families don’t.
The first quarter of the year that the Medlocks were with us was really just figuring each other out, adjusting our schedules and highlighting our expectations. Once you start sharing space with others, you quickly learn what’s ok and what’s not. What people tend to react to and what they don’t care much about. It takes little time for one to figure out if one can be themselves around a group of people or if we are unwelcome. At least from my perspective, I felt that we all found we were free to be ourselves around each other. Of course there were probably some reservations from every side due to different upbringings and personalities, but I believe we created a safe space for each other. The main focus during our first phase was finding a job for Deonte as he was going to be the one mainly working outside the home.
We had a lot of time together, driving from place to place, cooking along side each other, setting up game days and activities for ourselves and the kids. There wasn’t really any big events that happened during this time, since everything was fresh and new, there were few disagreements or problems that arose. After applying for several jobs and getting a couple interviews, Deonte was hired in September. Once he started working, things got moving in the direction we wanted them to. The plans to pay off debt, and save money could finally begin. All was going well, we had finally started to climb the mountain in front of us but it was not about to be an easy climb.
We would soon find ourselves back at the beginning, further from even the foot of the mountain, and at the pit of the valley.
A Word from the Medlocks
Hi, my name is Marisol, my family and I was struggling on where we were going to live during the pandemic cause we was getting kicked out. My husband who was my boyfriend at the time lost his job and we just had a baby and was like “Ugh what are we going to do?” Then poof lovely Gabe and Danaë who were Melodys foster parents, who are now her god parents welcomed us into their home August 8th 2020. So we moved in with them and they helped us tremendously. We signed a lease with them so it was legit that their home was also our home 🙂 they also made us feel at home as well. We’ve became friends and even better, became FAMILY.Marisol Medlock
“…I’ma always be myself
I ain’t got time to be nobody else
If I listened to everything every
One else said, my life would be a mess
But God said I’m blessed
So I’m gon’ claim blessings on my life instead
My God Father Living Water so you know He got bread
Yea, being different is a super power
It’s not a deficiency for you to cower
I want all of us to repeat after me
I’m me, I’m free and I’m so happy
I’m living out what they said that I couldn’t be
Wouldn’t be, shouldn’t be, cause I moved a couple things
Every day I thank the Lord for His grace
For the plans that He made for my life to be great
Competition with who? I’m the illest being me
And there’s too much life to let ’em ever get to me
I woke up today, I was thinking I was late
How you gon’ learn without mistakes?
I feel like I can’t go away yet
They try to act cool, I’m just me
I know I’ll never be picture perfect
But can I be myself, is that okay?…”