Today was a truly lovely day. The sun was shining; thunderstorms had chased away the early summer humidity. John was feeling much better and I got a good night's sleep. Not much happened that was all too exciting, but there were moments of unexpected joy. I started the day with a telephonic meeting with some very hard working social workers, trying to puzzle out what we all believed to be the best route to take for some clients of mine. I was very glad to be part of the conversation. Did we have the answer? Not really, but we know where we're going for now and that's good enough. I did some paperwork, answered e-mails, then had lunch with John after a walk to the mailbox and back. He really is doing a lot better, thank goodness. His docs did an excellent job. I think he's starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Today he got a wooden walking stick from Amazon.com, LOL:) - more psychological than anything else, but it helps with balance. His family have been wonderful with cards and calls of encouragement. Our sister-in-law, Judy, who in October had a horrific loss of her own when John's brother, her husband, Tom, died unexpectedly of a pulmonary embolism while he was recovering from a crazy mishap that caused a severely broken femur. It is always so touching to me how people who have suffered are often the ones who reach out to help. Often, when times are bad, you hear about how people find out who their true friends are, that many times they feel or actually are, abandoned by friends and family once the fuss dies down. I have always (and I don't use that word often) been blessed by friends and family who have surprised me with their kindness and concern and a ready willingness to help.
In Judy's case, I am not surprised. She is one of the nicest people you could ever meet - and she and Tom were truly a match made in Heaven. When John and I were taking our pre-Cana classes (religious classes you take before getting married in the Catholic church), one of the questions we were asked separately was who we thought of as having a good marriage. We both independently named Judy and Tom.
Tom was the kind of guy who would spark up the room when he walked into it. He always made you feel welcome as if you were just the person they needed to complete the party. At his funeral service, their granddaughter, Carleigh, talked about visiting Tom and Judy in California and one Saturday morning, Tom got her up early and took her to McDonalds - where he promptly bought about ten "happy meals" and took her downtown to hand them out to homeless men on the street! Tom worked hard and played hard, but his family was his life - and he left quite a legacy to his four sons - all of whom are wonderful young men. And remember folks, I'm just his sister-in-law!
I am getting old - no maybe about it. My next birthday is a decade one - I will be 60 and I look every bit of it, too. And that's ok. But Tom's situation, John's recent surgery, Nancy recent cancer scare and the health concerns of many of my friends lately have taught me how very fragile and short this life is. Where does all that time go and seemingly so quickly?
A long time ago (or was it five minutes ago?), I was in Germany, studying for part of my junior year at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, near the Rhine river. On one of my many travels and excursions, I remember seeing a gravestone upon which were words to the effect of, "Where I am, so will you be soon!" This headstone was at least two or three hundred years old at the time I saw it - and the message was a real then as it is now. I resolved that no matter where I was, whatever life dealt me, I would try to find good.
Today, I met some lovely people in my travels. I had three visits to meet five clients, some struggling with things no kid should have to struggle with, all very dear. Their foster families were a pleasant surprise. It was a pleasure spending time with them, just listening. That's nothing very shiny or flashy or glamorous, but it was a pleasure and an unexpected one at that.
Surprised by Joy - isn't that the title of CS Lewis' autobiography:)?
When I got home this evening, I added a few more inches to the Renee Leverington's Spring 2013 Mystery Shawl. This bad boy is going to need some SERIOUS blocking!:) The yarn is a bit hairy and a bit springy, but I think I'll get the stitch definition I need when it's blocked and then it will be halfway decent. Nice pattern, Goddesknits:)! So grateful you share your talents with all of us grateful knitters:)
Well, it wasn't an earth-shattering day, but it was unexpectedly delightful and for that I am grateful.
And whether I have another four minutes or forty years ahead of me, I will do my best to make the time count, wherever I find myself - as I believe Tom did.
On that note: God be with you 'til we meet again+