For Thursday, October 13, 2011
Charlie’s death was combined with the sad reality I faced this summer over the declining health of another loved one. This has placed me in a state of grief for much of 2011. To say it has been a difficult year is an understatement. Yet as the cool air of autumn returns and thoughts of another winter approach, I return to my mantra to face whatever is on the horizon without expectation and without fear. I cannot keep my promise without shedding regular tears it seems, but that’s okay. I have long been a woman who cries. I make no apologies for that. It’s who I am. It’s how I am built. Although I sometimes wish I could be a bit more stoic at times, such as when I can barely get through the singing of a song I am singing at mass, I do not wish to be any less sensitive than I am. I feel deeply. I live richly. I experience all of life fully, the lows and the highs.
Years ago, back in the spring of 1999, I began telling people that I was pregnant with my third child. However I knew it was actually my fourth child. I had miscarried “Joy” in October of 1998. A few people who knew this were a little surprised that I had conceived another baby so soon after the loss, but one friend of mine, a coworker named Sue, told me how much she admired me for being strong in taking a chance again so soon. I never forgot her words of support. I felt understood and accepted. My son Paul was born in November. I cannot say that the months before his birth were completely free from fear or expectation, however I felt inner peace as I awaited Paul’s arrival. The ten months I spent at home with him from November to September were some of the happiest of my entire life. I will never forget our first spring together. Putting Paul in the stroller, he and I went for daily walks. I observed the buds on the trees and the brook flowing with the water from the snow melting off the mountain. I came home and rocked my baby for hours in the recliner. I took it all in. As my maternity leave came to an end I began to panic. I was saddened to have my maternity leave end. I did not know what to expect as I returned to work and yes, I was filled with fear. I cried and wished for more time. I needn’t have worried. My nearly 12 years with my son have been filled with great happiness. What a precious boy he is.
We are given great gifts in our lives, yet we are quick to ask for more...more gifts or at least more time. But each day gives us the opportunity to take note of our world and to hold our loved ones. As I approach the end of 2011 I am again reminding myself to savor the miracle of each day and to savor the time I have within each hour I have in front of me. Although a part of me is anxious to put 2011 behind me, I will not deny myself of the 75 days that remain in the year. I will live those days richly and give thanks for the time I have with my loved ones.