Dear friday, time of reflecting gratitude for the grace, the gifts, of this week - of this life - how I need this day. More words come to mind today than need to be written. It's been a rare week of dates with my husband, of writing and reading, of tears for the suffering of others. A week of fervent prayers and wrestling fears.
I know three people this week who lost dads. One young woman, only four years older than me, ceased to speak, her body ravaged with cancer. She has a husband and six-year old son. It's not that I am close with all these mourners or the ones who are dying. No, it's more like a remembrance of the heaviness of suffering, this crazy, beautiful thing called empathy that seizes my heart, and sorrow wells up in my soul. For the hearts breaking, the lives turned upside down and inside out in the course of a day, I ache and I pray simple prayers with hope.
I hold my husband close, trace the curves of his face, sometimes with tears - not of guilt, but acknowledgement of the magnitude of the gift that is him - and I memorize these moments with a breath of gratitude to the God who gives and, in sorrowful mystery wrapped in love, also takes away.
So here, my friends, is my list for the week. May we revel in the love of the grace gifts that are ever-present, if we have eyes to see and hearts to receive...
1. Celebrations of life - the new baby of some dear friends, and the man who has left a profound legacy behind.
2. A poster designed with love by my oh-so-talented and supportive husband, to welcome an adorable baby.
3. An exquisite "beachy" baby shower cake, made by a beautiful friend.
4. Long(ish) walk to the library in the late summer afternoon, with less of a limp.
5. Laughing and crying and receiving inspiration through a book by Anne Lamott.
6. Connecting with writers of other blogs and supporting one another in our craft.
7. That life truly is Journey, not Destination: Ricardo and I made several late-night trips to the grocery store for "game tickets" to finish off our summer giveaway contest (which we didn't win a blessed thing for), but we delighted in the process together.
8. Two date nights in a row.
9. Authentic tacos on outdoor grills, margaritas, habanero salsa and live mariachi band - the kindness of a lovely Mexican family.
10. A deeply generous and humbling gift from a friend.
11. Live music at the Market: Washboard, old-time banjo and tambourine on the feet.
12. Writing outside the Crumpet Shop as the crowds swarm around.
13. Freedom from fear, one day at a time.
Be blessed, dear friends!