Saturday, November 6, 2010

Can You Hear The Trees Laughing?

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.

~ Mother Teresa ~

Working in my office this morning, I thought I heard children playing. Going outside to look, I spotted Sunny and River in a back eddy below. Recent rains have brought the water level up again, and those two were celebrating.

It's true laughter is contagious. Sunny, always the instigator of happiness, was tickling River as they swirled 'round and 'round, bouncing off rocks and giggling brightly.

All their fun had River's row of nearest neighbors, the normally dull Conifers, almost shining in delight. On this side of the river, a small but boisterous group of Deciduous broke into a riot of hilarity.

Before long I was smiling, too; it was impossible to do otherwise. It's weird how that works; it felt as if my heart was being lifted as well.

Maybe it was the motion of raising my camera that caught River's eye, but for some reason, just then she looked up and gave me the biggest, brightest wink I've ever seen.

I nodded back at her, grinning in acknowledgment. I took a few pictures, then stood there awhile, trying to decipher River's message. "Look at me!" I think she was saying. "I can twinkle again! Am I lovely?"

Oh, ab-sol-tute-ly, I tell her after Sunny moves on and we're alone again in the dark. River, girlfriend, you definitely got your groove back this morning. I have a lovely photograph. So tell me: Were you wearing real diamonds?

Now, as I write to you, there are tears in my eyes again. This time, though, they're not from sadness, but in gratitude for the beauty and glory of His love.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fighting Darkness Is So Wearisome

My recent neglect of you, dear readers, does not reflect a lack of desire to write here. My voice-mail is full, bills lie unopened, emails, unread. The dishes are done, but that's about all I can manage. 

Trying to keep my son alive has taken all my energy lately. I've never written much about him for several reasons. I try to respect his privacy, since he is a grown man of 35 and not a little kid.

But I've not voiced my feelings about him here primarily because that, my friends, is when the bullet hits the bone for this writer. It's seemed a bit hard to approach the topic, too: "Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's true that I lost my husband and my mom last year on the same day -- but wait! It gets worse!"

Here's the deal: My son suffers from Type I Diabetes, juvenile onset. His health has been steadily declining for quite a while now. Before my husband died, it had become so worrisome that we urged him to move back home with us. So he did.

He has lived in my basement now for more than two years. He doesn't work. In fact, he makes little effort to do anything at all.

I've found him in insulin shock and near death more times than I care to recall. So far, I have been able to get some Karo syrup down him or call 911 in time to save him.

But I am beginning to feel so worn down by the weight of it all. The anxiety compounds my grief.

I have to fight the urge to give into negativity every day. Jack Daniels beckons, but I will not go there. I know it wouldn't help. In fact, it would only make things worse, and I gave up on self-destruction a while back.

Bottom line: I know I can't change my son; only he can do that. This situation with him, however, has evolved into a full-blown crisis that must end soon. I simply can't take it anymore.
So I've made some tough decisions and planned some big changes. Don't worry; they will be positive for us both. 

It's so hard for a mom to unmom herself, even if it's for the better. Telling you about it strengthens my resolve.

It's not going to be easy, but then, nothing really worth doing ever is, is it? Rolling over and dying, now that would be easy.

In my dream we're on the sinking Titanic when I hear someone yell, "Women and children on the lifeboats first!"

I may be an old woman, but I'm still a woman, and someone who's 35, I'm pretty sure, is no longer a child. These are my thoughts as I run for a lifeboat but then I hear another voice: "It's every man for himself!"

Wait a minute. That is just so wrong! We're all in this together, aren't we?

Turning back, I see my son and grab his hand, holding tight. "Let's go!" I yell at him. "We've got to keep going forward!"

A sea of darkness swells ahead of us as I scream again, "'It's going to be all right!"  I'm not sure if he can hear me, but I will not let go of his hand.

Leaning into the wind, I pull with everything I've got.
Then comes the light of another day. I wake up and keep trying. It's all I can do.