Boy, it's been a while since I wrote anything. It always feels a little silly to me coming back to this blog after a long absence, because I sort of assume that those of you who look at it will have given up reading and I should just write this more like Doogie Howser did every night, for my own record, but somehow that's not motivating. It's the sharing of the stories that brings me back.
The last few weeks have been marked by a "keep your head down and try to stay in the game" sort of mentality, which is why there has been no pause to ruminate on it all. We also have been sick for the last two weeks. After feeling like all I want to do is nap every day for 11 days while taking care of three sick kids, I have a heightened appreciation for my mom who always held every detail together for me, even when she didn't feel like she could put one foot in front of the other and for my dad who went to work every day even when he was sick and tired. And then, of course, there's the getting up every hour to soothe a coughing child back to sleep. It's hard to get well under these kinds of circumstances. And yet, we have everything that we need. These days have made me think about those people who don't have everything they need and are walking through the same kinds of sicknesses and worse. I find that when I am not feeling totally sorry for myself (which I have a propensity for) that there is a richness of another kind available to me. A thankfulness.
A few weeks ago, dear friends of ours experienced a terrible loss. We had the gift of being with them that night and I hope I never forget what they shared. A & J spoke about feeling like God was nudging them not to miss Him in their moment to moment journey through the days preceding and following their loss. That there was grace and growth being offered to them in the pain and the questioning and the anger and all the rest of the complexity they were (and are) steeped in. All things they were capable of missing if they instead found respite in easier escapes.
And though, having a virus is no comparison to their loss, what they are after is true all the time and heightened by having to work harder to stay afloat, regardless of what the present weight. They inspire me.
A couple weeks ago, Manny and I were having a snack. He looked up between bites and said, "You're a great mom, Angie." I said, "Thanks Manny!" A few minutes later, I said, "You're a great son, Manny." He said, "Thanks Mama."
At least once a day for weeks, sometimes more often, Manny will say out of nowhere, "Happy Valentines Day to you Mama. Happy Valentines Day to you Dad." And we always say, "Happy Valentines Day to you too Manny." And Manny always gives a heartfelt thanks. St. Patricks Day didn't change anything and I suspect Easter won't either. I find it so utterly charming that I would be happy if Manny wished me a Happy Valentines Day for the rest of my life. It makes up for the fact that he stills screams at me every time I turn off the television.