Blessed relief came last night
in a most unexpected way.
Yesterday I'd told my hairdresser I just needed a good cry.
You know the kind that's full of snot and gulps and
so many, many tears.
Except those kind take something to set them off.
I can't just will them to happen.
They bring a relief which
tears welling up and spilling over just can't match.
In my email last night was a long letter from a dear reader.
I've often struggled to write something here
that isn't so inward looking.
Yet there was her letter, telling me how my navel gazing
has affected her journey.
I leaned my head against the wall, looked out the window
and sobbed my heart out as I read her words.
Snot, gulps and many tissues later
I felt more whole, less hurting.
My own hope restored by her
gift of words.
What earlier had seemed so difficult
was once again manageable.
Today was my turn to chair my home group 12 step meeting.
I went feeling tender,
tears being my barely-under-the-surface side kick.
We started with a few members and within
half an hour the number around the table had doubled.
I had prayed earlier to simply get out of God's way
in the meeting. To open myself to breathe space
in between what was being shared.
To hold each person up to the light.
I spent time before the meeting
litsening to a young man
a stranger to our town
share his story with me.
Blessed before the meeting even started.
During the meeting I was able to share
that my feelings were not a permanent sentence
yet it was a necessary place
for me to be today.
I told them of our mutual friend
who is in palliative care.
Last night he was rushed to the hospital by ambulance.
His days numbering less than a handful.
Some there know him as well.
After the meeting ended
there were many hugs
offers of coffee or lunch.
They sensed I needed companionship
in order to gain strength to go to the hospital.
10 minutes later we were breaking bread together
and a while after that one of them came with me
to the hospital to visit our friend.
He was barely coherent
not recognizing all who know him.
I sat for a while just watching him breathe
I went to his bedside and spoke to him
his eyes fluttering open
unable to form words with his mouth
though he tried.
I told him of the medallion
yet sensed he had not the strength to hold it.
I met his wife
on the elevator
and pressed his 30 year medallion
into her palm.
She said it had come just in time
as she closed her fingers over it.
She said his 25 year medallion was always in his pocket
and he'd hoped years ago, when he first fell ill with
another serious illness, to make it that far.
Now here was 30.
As I left the hospital and walked to my van
I suddenly realized
what a privilege it was
just to be able to walk.
Despite my weariness I had a flutter of
wanting to jump up and down a bit
because I can move my legs at will.
Just a few days ago my friend still had that ability.
Last night that ability ended for him.
He is bed bound now until his angels carry him home.
Some days all I need is perspective.
Let me rephrase that.
Every day all I need is perspective.
It doesn't make life's problems any less painful
they still need to be addressed
but it reminds me that whatever
Temporary can feel permanent
especially in the moment
but it isn't.
It just is what it is.
Today I can accept that
with a little more hope
than I had yesterday.