Season of Thanksgiving #10, Tim & Cleo Graham
For those that don’t know, Tim & Cleo Graham are James’ parents. During my 18 year friendship with James, his parents have been my second set of parents. And I’m not the only one who can say that. They make anyone who walks into their home feel like it’s home to them. During my formidable teenage years of making bad decisions and generally not being a good person, they were a safe haven for me. A place where I knew I could find welcome and no judgement. They mean so very much to me.
I was Baptized in Abilene, Texas on a windy Tuesday afternoon in October. Tim had always been an interesting fellow to me up to this point, with his intimidating intellect and jokes I never understood. But when he came home from work that day and James broke the news to him, he flashed one of the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen him give and wrapped me up in a big ole bear hug and said “Welcome to the family son!” It took me a minute to realize which family he meant. And he had been patiently waiting for me to join for years.
Cleo Graham – Cleo has a servant’s soul. There is no woman I’ve ever met who lives to serve as she does. While we all sit and whine about our first world problems, her & Tim have always and purposefully lived with less and been exceedingly grateful for it. If you want to know what pure love, joy, grace, and acceptance feels like….just walk into their home. Cleo will greet you with hugs, tears, smiles and a hot plate of food. It doesn’t matter who you are, Cleo will love you. And she will love you for who you are, no matter what you do. She will give you the clothes on her back, all the money in her bank account, and all the food in her kitchen. That my friends, is what Christ’s love looks like. It looks like Cleo Graham.
Also: Her Lemon tea is famous….and insanely addicting.
When they moved back to Texas, it was a crushing blow to me. They ARE my family. They are so near and dear to my heart, and I miss them so very much. 1,100 miles is a long way, but worth every mile anytime I get to see them. Their model of love and family is what Kara & I strive to portray in our home. I only hope that we can practice a mere fraction of what they display.
Next Up: My beautiful bride