The nature of blessing is evasive sometimes, blessing in disguise as people so often say. At other times, blessing shows itself overtly in extravagant ways. Many of you are probably running about today, trying your best to do and fix and “make things like they used to be.” I sympathize with you and your efforts: for your attempts at hiding winces of pain; your choice to silently absorb your agony instead of utter it, out of love for those near you; for your maturity in listening to others’ complaints, as you feel they pale in comparison; for walking with and through your pain and suffering; for staying here with us for one more day. Life is not like it used to be, not for me either – not at all.
Still I implore you, this Christmas try with me – alongside me – to revel in your blessing and in the blessings that are surely somehow buried in the turn life has taken for you, for all of us, families who share this tragedy.
For example, I am for the first time EVER, sitting alone in an entirely empty house at 2:00 on Christmas Eve. That has never happened in 38 years. I could say I’m lonely, but then I look around at this extravagantly overt blessing – the use of a friend’s vacation home in Colorado. I recall how bone weary I’ve been for months and months now, daily longing for solitude and a clear head. This blessing almost escaped me, would have escaped me, if not for you all and my changed circumstance and my changed family.
I see Brooklyn in the chair opposite me, my slimmed-down Yorkie who is now svelte enough to travel by plane again, her hair long, displaying a tiny red bow that I learned to make, thanks to a new friend I met through this mesh mess. This little creature’s quiet trust and peaceful snoring make me laugh and grin ear-to-ear. Sometimes I like to think of her as more of a Muppet or something Jim Henson or Dr. Suess would have invented. She snorts and winks and hobbles with her tiny little bowlegs.
I am staring out at a sea of huge pine trees, caked with snow that looks like frosting, and I marvel at God’s mystery and majesty and find myself grateful for the truths He does not reveal to me, has not yet, or maybe never will.
I remember with a grateful heart those who have served me over the last six months, as I have tried my best to serve you all and my mother. Financial blessing when I did not think it would come; a Dad who asks if I would like a piece of his homemade banana bread or a fire built or both; a friend who, though she still grieves the loss of her husband, has made the word friendship take on a richer meaning than ever before; a Godmother who thought she was in-the-clear when I became an adult, but who now happily and often serves as surrogate when my own mother is simply too tortured to speak; a husband who freely gives his heart to me while mine is consumed with you; a friend who cleaned my bathroom when I could do nothing more than cry and try to stand up; a friend who solidified a new truth in me by giving me a wood-carved, “Angel of Listening” as a gift, when I’ve been told all my life that I talk too much and listen too little. What a gift to have been transformed into a good listener! Most folks who know me would have bet their homes that would never have happened. But it did.
I try to count the new friends I have made in six months, and it requires both hands and both feet and then some. I NEVER would have met these amazing women – YOU ALL- if not for this mesh that attacked every corner of all our lives, as an uninvited and unwanted guest who will not seem to leave. I am grateful for your friendship, teaching and strength.
Most of all, I count the blessing that my mother is still here, still fighting, and I know she fights for my sister and me. That is a hard gift to accept. But GRACE, being given something that you did not earn and do not deserve, often is hard to accept. It’s too good to be true, right? So I spend my life learning about the Heavenly Father who designed each of our lives, so I can learn how to accept His grace more and more as he purifies me through fire and with iron. Still, I am grateful. Fire keeps me warm, even as it burns off the unnecessary in my soul, very painfully at times. Iron gives me a solid foundation from which to do good, even as it is a cold, hard and heavy burden to carry.
YOU are my community. PLEASE, in the comments below, count one or as many blessings as you wish so that we can share in gratitude together for the blessings that seem buried. Time to unearth them today and tomorrow.
In my heart of hearts, I feel 2014 will be a year of blessing, peace, healing and hope for you all, for my mom and for me. That is my prayer every day and will continue to be. MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all.
Fill in the blank: I AM BLESSED/GRATEFUL for ________________________________________.
Your Mesh Warrior