"I need you to know how much this changed me."
I need you to know how much this trip changed me, for the better. When you picked me up from the hospital, I didn't want to go home with you. I didn't want to be around your 'normal' family and your irritatingly motivated husband. I really did just want to be left alone, maybe to try to kill myself again, maybe not. But you forced me into your world, and I want to say thank you. I hadn't seen Olive and Dwayne in so long, and I had forgotten that RIchard's dad was living with you. I was unprepared for the overstimulation of Olive's questions and dogged determination to win a beauty pageant. Dwayne's silence caught me off guard, but I grew to appreciate how he could say so much with his silence and hastily scribbled words on his notepad. He was just who I needed to be around to allow myself to get over my experience and move on.
I know this trip didn't turn out like anyone planned, with Grandpa dieing, the bus breaking down, and being banned from all California beauty contests, but it was exactly what I needed to start living again. It was what I needed to pull me out of my stuffy academic world of Praust and gay love intrigues and into something that mattered so much more, family. So thank you Cheryl, for being a good sister and unwilling to give up on me. I'll go on another road trip with you guys any day.