I think I need to do a little bit of a rambling post. It seems my mind has been cluttered lately. I’ve been having a hard time focusing, a hard time shaking off the dreary cold, and a hard time getting anything done. “A blog post” has been on my to do list for a long time now. I don’t know that I have much to say, but I’ll just start, and wing it, shall I?
As I start to type, my mind immediately goes to the sad things. This early spring has been one filled with emotion and helplessness. We attended the funeral of a friend – a man of 43 years who had married one of my high school friends. It was — and still is — heartbreaking, and the ripple effects of his passing will be felt probably for the rest of my life. Another childhood friend of mine — one who I’ve known since we were 12 or so — is currently struggling to manage the critical care of his very ill mother, and to do it from a different state with no help from his siblings. Yet another friend — one whom I’ve known since kindergarten — has gone through an existential crisis, the depths of which I can hardly fathom. She struggled with a very sick mom who came through the surgeries and the treatments a completely different person. I have friends that have divorced in the past year. Friends that have had to have surgery. Friends who have lost their jobs and who have had to move. Friends who have gone into bankruptcy and have lost their homes. I worry so much for these people. I reach out where I can — when they will let me — to help or to talk or to hug. But mostly I just fret. There is so much pain in the world.
However — and I have to keep reminding myself of this when I start to feel overwhelmed with sadness — there have been amazing glimpses of joy around us too. We have four people in our greater circle that are expecting a baby this summer/fall. We have friends who are falling in love. Friends who are getting married. We have friends who are finding successes, who are traveling to amazing places, who are watching their children go off to college, off to kindergarten, off to high school. We see baby birds and fluffy puppies and hear laughing kids going to the park. We are expanding our circle of friends in the community and spring is coming, albeit at a painfully slow, cold, gray pace. There is so much good in the world.
Last month our family traveled to Tennessee. We stayed with Larry’s mother and his grandfather. Pa is 89 years old, still sharp as a tack but slowing down because of a very pained back. It was such a joy to sit and visit. To hear stories and to ask questions about his childhood. Elliot got to go out for breakfast at 6am with Pa every morning, and I don’t know which of them enjoyed it more. While in Tennessee, we got to attend my sister-in-law’s country wedding and visit my other sister-in-law who is expecting a baby girl in the fall. Larry got to spend time with his family, including his step sister and uncles and cousins. He got to spend some quality time with his life long friends and their families. We spent Sunday after church eating such delicious food surrounded by cousins and aunts and uncles. It was a wonderful visit.
I love to think about Pa. He makes me smile. He’s got no filter and doesn’t give a sweet damn if he offends anyone. He’s the kind of man to whom you only ask a question if you can handle the honest answer. I only understand every third word he says, but that’s ok. His eyes twinkle at me, his hugs are strong, and he loves seeing Larry and his great grand kids. So here’s a couple pictures of Pa and one of Larry with his sisters and his momma.