Thursday, August 26, 2010

Simple acts of caring

Often it is the very simple things that bless our hearts. I seem to get joy from things that are rarely associated with a price tag. Sometimes it's a memory, or a sense of accomplishment. Sometimes it's a note of encouragement from a friend or a kind gesture from a stranger.

Yesterday I stopped at the gas station and then proceeded to the car wash that I selected when purchasing my gas. Before entering I was flagged down by a man who was very concerned! He told me my gas cap wasn't put back on and was warning me very kindly yet excitedly that I better not go into the car wash like that or water will get into my gas tank!! I thanked him profusely for letting me know! I was grateful there are people like that in the world.

Today while at the doctor's office with Edd I witnessed a very simple exchange between a husband and wife yet it was touching and precious to me. An old woman sat dozing in the waiting room as her husband's doctor approached and gently woke her. When her husband shuffled over they teased her a bit when she said she wasn't asleep but just resting! Apparently her thin husband had a heart condition and also a bandage on his toe. When they finally got up to leave the man kindly said to his wife, "you stay here I'll go get the car" since no one could park very close to the building. She didn't quite hear him and he repeated himself to which she replied, "oh, I'm going with you." As they walked away I heard him say, "no, you're not...." and then they were out of my view. I would have enjoyed what what was said next I bet. I looked up and saw another woman across from me with the same smile on her face as my own. It was clear this couple had been together for a long time... and he still wanted to take care of her even though he himself was shuffling along and stooped over.

Precious. Simple acts of caring give me a peaceful heart.

It's a crazy world we live in. If I could somehow communicate to young people today what love is it would look very different from what is shown in today's programming and messages. It's a genuine concern and regard for the good of another. It's waking up every morning and wondering what you can do this day to make the life of another better or show you care. It's wanting to give another your best. It's like having your favorite peice of cake in front of you. How will you share it? How much of it do you give away? The more we hold onto for ourselves, the less we are able to keep.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Things beyond our control

Many aspects of life are difficult to understand. There are things that we can control in life and some things that we cannot. Many of the things that happened outside of my control turned out to be tremendous blessings I would not trade for the world. Like my children who weren't exactly planned. But they WERE planned by God and I cannot imagine life without them. Like my divorce which was devastating and yet led me down the path to meeting a man who loves me and is totally committed to my good and happiness.

It's often through things we do not plan and wouldn't seek out that lead us to a richer place. New discoveries about ourselves, life and love.

Edd's cancer. Sometimes the reality of it all can bring me to despair and deep deep sadness when I think about how it has changed our lives. Other times I am amazed and humbled and in awe of all God has given us through it by way of perspective and appreciation of life. I admit though that I have far to go in acceptance and understanding.

Some things are so personal I just cannot bring myself to share them ... they'll have to stay in my heart to ponder but the changes that come through having to deal with devastating news is a bittersweet journey.

Gone is the "luxury" of holding a grudge, being selfish, withholding affection, languishing in self pity, playing any number of little relationship games that couples play to get attention. It's just no longer a part of the equation (if it ever was) or who we are as a couple. Not when we rely on each other's strength so much. The strength and courage I see each and every day from the man I live with is inspiring and gives me strength to love him even more.

My heart is so full and I can't even begin to put my thoughts and feelings into words. Maybe someday more that is inside and the lessons I've learned will come to the surface but for now this is all I'm able to express. Just the tip of the iceberg.

I've cried out to God for understanding and wisdom many times in my life... for mercy and for grace and for deliverance. I have to believe that He has something in the pain and grief we go through to teach us. That there is a purpose and something He wants us to learn or understand. Sometimes it's so hard to see it, but I'll continue to be open to whatever it is.... in time.

A couple of quotes from books by Michael J. Fox who deals with Parkinson's Disease. His optimism is very inspiring to me....

"It may seem hard to believe, but it's catastrophe that offers the most promise for an even richer life. This is the gateway to the good stuff. In other words, you never truly know which way the wind is blowing until the shit hits the fan."

If you were to rush into this room right now and announce that you had struck a deal - with God, Allah, Buddha, Christ, Krishna, Bill Gates, whomever - in which the ten years since my diagnosis could be magically taken away, traded in for ten more years as the person I was before - I would, without a moment's hesitation, tell you to take a hike."