For those of you who have known me – or read my writing – for years, this post will sound so repetitious! My life seems to be the same, day in/day out, year in/year out. It is always so full (stressful, some might say), rarely boring (some might say, rarely restful), and, even I will agree, sometimes a little overwhelming. And there’s a constant theme of good and not….
We had a death in our family last week – a niece who was named, in part, after me! She was born maybe a year or two after that birthday picture was taken (scroll down this page) and so we weren’t exactly playmates but we were close. And we stayed that way as young adults. Even now, we could pick up a conversation at any moment as if we were together just yesterday.
Her loss will be deeply felt by her parents, her son, and all of us in the family and among her friends who valued her humor, her passion, her strength and her forthrightness!
At the same time there are several other health concerns in the family that will be more easily repaired. And there are parishioners who are facing both dramatic and temporary problems, as well as my own good check up last week. So I feel both grief and gladness, worry and relief – all mixed up together!
On less serious notes, my husband is preparing for some travel, both out of state and out of the country. He’ll leave home one morning and arrive back some weeks later. That’s an odd sort of married life compared to the one I expected growing up so long ago! My father was home like clockwork at 5pm every evening; if it got to be 5:15, neighbors began to worry.
But, for my husband and I, there’s little clockwork anywhere in our lives – and being away for a few weeks (or longer) simply means an opportunity to do meaningful work. So again, I feel the encroaching sadness at separation but still great gratitude for his opportunity!
I think my life is always like this because that is just the way life is when we pay attention to it and to the folks around us. What might be different is the way we react to that reality. We can choose to focus on the grief and worry – or we can ignore all but the joy and good times – or we can honor both, move among them as life at its fullest, and find a place of gratitude for it all.
I’m hoping I can do the latter. Keep me in prayer, please!