December 15, 1964. A little girl and her brother found their grandfather on a peaceful hillside where he had closed his eyes for the final time. Around him was the Christmas greenery he had gone on the hill to gather for the family Christmas. This little girl felt so sad for so long. I’m not sad any more, but I have not forgotten. I will always remember the day I lost one of the best friends I would ever have. Only now as a grandmother myself can I even begin to fathom the depth of what you knew about being loving and kind and gentle. Even now, I miss you and every December 15th I remember you with love. Not for what I lost but for all the gifts you gave me.
When I think of home the memories, thoughts and ideas are so pleasant. But there are also struggles – and loss. When you love deeply and honestly, witnessing the struggle and the loss can be the most difficult part of life. But we do move on.
This week has been precarious for me. My daughter-in-law’s brother has been going through life-threatening surgery and treatment and we have been in prayer mode for two weeks.
My niece has been back and forth to the doctors for months and watching her search to find answers is also heartbreaking.
One of my very dear friends and I talked off and on one day as we worked on trying to find balance and understanding in some difficult circumstances. The warmth, comfort and stability of a friendship is an important part of feeling at home. An outside person you can speak openly and honestly with is a critical part of having balance in our lives.
Keeping strong when someone you care about is struggling is not easy. We want balance. We want comfort. It helps us feel at home and at peace to know our loved ones are okay.
And Then There Was Michael
Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida yesterday. The devastation is horrible to see. I can honestly say I hate hurricanes. I have been through more of these storms than I care to remember and have worried with friends and loved ones through even more. It is the most helpless feeling to have someone you love in harm’s way and be powerless to do anything about it.
It will be days before we know the full impact of the storm, just as it was days before we knew the impact of Hurricane Florence. We received a lot of rain – almost 10 inches in two days – but have only had minor wind gusts. Slowly we hear from people and our mind is at rest, but not fully. Not until everyone is accounted for.
My heart breaks for those that have or will have lost loved ones in this storm.
As much as home is in our hearts, it is also the physical place where we live. So many homes lost. Lifetimes of belongings, mementos and memories washed away or blown away in the storm. Such an experience changes the ability to feel safe in your own home. I cannot imagine I would ever feel the same about my home being my safe haven after such loss.
I Never Imagined Life Without You
Last night I received devastating news about a dear family friend who passed away. We were not close in recent times, but at one time we were very close. The loss to this family hit twice in only a few days and I cannot imagine how hard that must be.
There are some people you can NEVER imagine will one day no longer be here. This loss hit me in exactly this way. I woke up off and on all night, listening to the rain pounding against the roof and thinking about the fact this dear sweet soul was gone. I am not sure how to come to terms with this.
Loss like this is multiplied when you think about the people you would call to talk through such things. My go-to people to process feelings like this are disappearing from my life. I talked to my brother and my daughter, but after those two, the people I would have called that knew and understood the loss are no longer here for me to call. That is a tough pill to swallow. Balance is lost and it can be a struggle to regain.
Today I wish you a sense of stability in the place you call home. If you have experienced loss, I send you warm thoughts. Life has a funny way of re-correcting and finding balance even after the most catastrophic or devastating news.
The birds are back at the feeder and the Rose Breasted Grosbeaks will soon leave to continue their migration south.
Everyone is headed home.
“I see now how things even up, how they are squared away,
and how they balance under the law of love and justice.
No year of life is emotionally, spiritually or even materially,
all drought or all rainfall; nor is it all sun.
The road turns a little every day, and one day there’s a sudden twist
we didn’t dream was there, and for every loss there is somewhere a gain,
for every grief a happiness, for every deprivation a giving.”