Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'll say goodbye with grace...

I've never really been a resolution-maker. Seems kind of silly, since every day is a new day; December 31, 2009 isn't going to feel much different than January 1, 2010...

But I understand the way a new year can cause you to re-evaluate the bigger picture. There's also something about a new decade that can push you into introspective-ness (is that even legal? to use that word?)

I've been thinking about friendships... how some of them are ending; some, just beginning. I will willingly let go of the ones whose season is behind us, and spend time listening to the stories of the people who are just entering my life. I will stop thinking that so many people need me to do for them, that their worlds will crumble without me. I will stop filling my schedule with so many good things and good people that the ones who really need my attention don't feel connected to me like they should. I'll stop killing myself to stay connected to those whose season in my life ended long ago; I'll admit that it is time... it is time.

As my grandfather slips away, I've mostly said goodbye, without actually saying it. I've taken a brief moment to care for him (yet nothing like my family whose been present so much more than me); I've finally seen him vulnerable and extended a nurturing hand. And it was enough.

In all this, I've summed it up like this...

I'll graciously say goodbye.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I'm always rather perplexed/annoyed at how much yelling and frustration and veins bulging on the forehead, that can go on in front of a TV screen, where men in colored uniforms, helmets, and a desire to tackle people, run around and cause folks to scream at them. Most people get this, but I do not. In fact, most people enjoy this Sunday afternoon/Monday night ritual during a certain time of year. They get together with their buddies or family, and scream in unison.

Actually, it's quite fantastic. Maybe I should just sit a bit further away, to spare my eardrums, and laugh at the whole thing. Wish I'd thought of this approach BEFORE the Saints lost to Tampa Bay today...

Friday, December 25, 2009

home for the holidays

I mean, what is home anyway?

We're at my parents' house in Petal, MS (outside my college town, Hattiesburg). So far, we've turned the TV off to be together, to cook in the kitchen, and that makes me happy. We're a pretty media-overconnected family (some of us), but I think we're learning how to be together better. We were all in the kitchen this morning making breakfast casserole, mac and cheese, sweet potato pie among others. It was good to cook together and then eat together, especially sharing it with our friend Jay, who is family-less for the holidays (but not really, because he is our family).

Good to be together.

to be with you, to be with you
I love this time of year
it always brings me here to be with you
[sara groves]

Saturday, December 5, 2009

"...reality is reality."

"Romance is romance, and sex is sex, but reality is reality."

That might not make much sense to you, but in the context of the conversation I just had with a woman who has been married 55 years, this makes so much sense. It also makes sense to me, who has "only" been married a little over 2 years.

I'm feeling immeasurably thankful right now for those who have walked the roads of marriage before me, most of whom are still walking it...

Vivian and Robert... married about 40 years. [then Vivian passed...]
Libby and Robert... married 17 years.
Joan and Richard... married 55 years.
Diane and Terry... married 30 years.
Trish and Frankie... married 21 years.
Josh and Stacey... married 3 1/2 years.

This is my family history, full of marriages long-lasting, still going strong, still bending and stretching; enjoying each other, rolling with the punches, hurting each other, forgiving each other, taking care of each other.

Our family knows full well what taking care of each other looks like in the last month, even the last couple of years. My grandparents are reaching their fullness, in many ways. Hearts are failing, muscles are tiring out, weary eyes are tired from sleepless nights on hospital chairs, turned fold-out bed, which in some ways reminds you of sleeping on lumpy concrete. The ending of life is a mysterious thing that takes pieces of those left-behind. But with the ending of life comes the ending of marriage. And the ending of marriage is another thing. It is the fullness of the commitment made so many years back. A promise kept. Even for all the promises you broke in between... "I will take the trash out," or "I'll stop; I promise not to do it again." There is one promise kept... "'Til death do us part."

All around me I see the rubble and dust of marriages fallen, promises unkept. And this isn't a blog about judging why others divorce; I am not speaking to the hurt of abuse and unfaithfulness (though marriages have survived that through the healing grace of Christ Jesus). This is me, so thankful for the images of marriage, so thankful for the togetherness of my family. It has shaped me, in ways I will never fully understand and am only now beginning to open my eyes to.

I am so much of who I am because of being "found" in a family, of knowing the safety and love of a family. My family.... Vivian, Robert, Libby, Richard, Joan, Trish, Frankie, Diane, Terry, Josh, Stacey. They have held me; they continue to hold me.

[I stand amazed...]