My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Anniversary

"I lift up my eyes to the mountains - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of Heaven and Earth." Psalms 121:1-2

We can't help but attach some very strong memories to September 11th. It's a day that none of us, no matter where we live or what we do for a living, no matter what our religion, on that day we felt fear and grief. Our world changed that day.

For me, the day on the calendar that is the most pivotal is September 19th. On that day, five years ago, my life could have and should have ended. I was in a city that was anything but home to me, married to a man who didn't love me and never attempted to be faithful to me. I couldn't imagine a way to put the pieces of my broken life back together and so I just gave up. God, however, wasn't ready for me yet. He had a perfect plan for putting the pieces back together and in the space of a week I went from hopeless to hopeful. I went from ER to ICU to psych hold to packing up everything I owned and moving from Hell to Helen, Georgia. I lifted my eyes to the mountains and to this day, five years later, every time I see those mountains, I feel His presence.

I can't tell you that life has been easy in those five years but there have been so many wonderful moments that I would never have wanted to miss. I've watched my nieces grow from precious, precocious preschoolers to lovely long-limbed ladies. I watched my son overcome a lot of challenges to graduate from high school. I watched another son walk down the aisle to marry a girl who is so perfect for him that we couldn't have imagined she existed. I've watched my oldest go on to professional success, creating a home for himself in a place where he could do the job he was born to do. I've made so many friends that I would never have met. I've reconnected with people from my past. I've said a few sad goodbyes that made me realize just how fragile life really is.

I've said a few sad goodbyes that made me realize just how fragile life really is. And yes, I've hurt. There isn't a day that I don't suffer. There isn't a day that I don't grieve... just a little bit... the things that I'm unable to do. There are days that I'm lonely and wish there really had been a Prince Charming for me. Our house was struck by lightning. I've had romantic failures. I have faced many financial problems. The lights have been cut off. The car was repossessed. But there has never been a day that wasn't worth living. Not one. And when I feel discouraged, I still can look at these mountains and know where my help comes from.

This morning I knew I really needed to make a trip to town. We have a lot of "ingredients" here but everything I could think to eat was missing one ingredient or another. After a particularly dismal failure at cooking chicken fried rice from a frozen meal kit last night, I knew I had to do something to improve our dining options. And we were out of strawberry cheesecake ice cream. It was critical mass. So even though I was hurting too bad to move, I grabbed the keys and headed for town and you know what I saw? The mountains. I felt what I always feel here - a sense of peace and wonder. I have never yet taken for granted the view that we have and the blessing that it is to be here.

The thing is, I could have never imagined a scenario five years ago that would have me unable to work and yet living in exactly the place I wanted to live. When I go places around here, even something as mundane as a trip to Ingles, I go with the expectation of having a pleasant experience. This morning was no different. I got a great parking place (love that handicapped parking!) I had a pumpkin spice latte and giggled at the bingo game going on in the snack room of Ingles. I picked up a few necessities and a few luxuries. And as I was checking out, a precious young lady who is the daughter of a dear, dear friend saw me and came up to me and gave me a hug. We didn't talk long but it was the perfect exclamation point on the paragraph that had been forming in my mind about great my blessings are here. This is home.

There are some other things I want to share about today. They don't necessarily fit the tone of the rest of this blog entry but they're very key to how life works.

First, you should know that my dad was sitting and watching tv last night when all of a sudden there were two eyes glowing back at him... a possum. In the house. And, to the best of our knowledge, he's still there. (You can't make this stuff up.) I believe he's trapped in one room but if he managed to get in the house to start with, he could probably get out.

Second, Austin called to find out how to make rotel dip - you know, the kind with velveeta cheese and a can or two of rotel. It seems like at least once a month I get a call from one of my kids asking how to cook something I cooked for them when they were growing up. This tells me that even though I fed them things like pickled beets and roasted asparagus that there were a lot of things I made that they liked. That's high praise in my book. Austin and Logan are holding down the fort at Logan's house while the mom is out of town. My instructions were "if you get put in jail, don't call me to bail you out." I'll miss my kid but I'll also enjoy a break.

And lastly, this afternoon Pop was hit from behind in the Jetta. The JETTA that I just learned to love to drive last week! He stopped behind a school bus and the person behind him didn't stop. The car is damaged but he was not hurt. Sore, probably, but it could have been worse. It's an aggravation and additional burden for him to deal with when he's already busy finishing his last few months before retirement, dealing with running three households and helping with Grandma and so forth. But this is life, the price we pay for participating in our world. The risk we take with every journey and adventure.

Life carries risk. It exposes us to potential heartache but it also opens us up to so much joy. My heart still breaks for the people who were lost on 9/11, for the kids who have grown up without parents and the parents who buried their grown up kids. My heart still rejoices at the mountains in my life, the ones I get to see and the ones I have to climb.

Thank you for being a part of my life.
Love and hugs.