Monday, September 17, 2018

Ten Years

I was browsing through Facebook earlier this evening when I saw a post published from a town nearby.  It showed the decorations and banner a family had put up memorializing their daughter as part of the Turn The Towns Teal campaign for ovarian cancer awareness.

I looked at the date on my computer and it hit me.  Ten years ago, tonight, we sat vigil with my mom as she lost her battle with that cancer.  Usually I am hyper-aware of this approaching date.  I remember most everything about that night - what we ate for dinner, talking with the hospice nurse, sitting quietly with mom, holding her hand.

Somehow, this year, it snuck up on me.  Maybe that is good.  Rather than being focused on when and how she died, after ten years it is more important to remember how Mom lived.

She was kind. Not nice, but kind.  Nice tells people what they want to hear.  Kind tells them what they need to hear, with gentleness and love.  Mom built relationships with people and saw the good in them, even when they couldn't find it themselves.  She wasn't one to be taken advantage of, but was generous with her time and talent.  She showed, through example, how to be a good wife, a good mother, sister and friend.

I love when we think of her, we remember her good traits and forget the bad.  It reminds me to work on those things that are true, good and beautiful so that someday, ten years after my passing, people will smile and do the same.


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Dirt Therapy

I don't think I have ever gone this long without writing.  Well, I guess I have, I just checked.

It isn't as though I don't have anything to say.  I do.  It's just a matter of sitting down and putting it down in some coherent fashion.

It isn't that I am so busy that I don't have time.  I do.  And, dare I say, I've been a bit bored.  I have been catching up on The Closer, by way of Amazon Prime, and there is only so much of Brenda Leigh Johnson I can take in one sitting.

It has been a weird summer. Quiet, mostly, punctuated with a variety of things - a death in the family, jury duty, a geriatric dog with health issues, a family member in ICU, a work trip to the west coast.  Life happening.

Tonight, after dinner, I put my grubbies on and headed out to the yard to finish a project I started a month or so ago.  I haven't been able to do much in the last couple of weeks because of the weather.  Either it has been in the nineties with high, horrid humidity or in the sixties and rain.  Neither of which I want to be out working in.

But tonight was perfect.  Seventy degrees and a pleasant breeze.  I dug out weeds and moved large rocks and planted grass seed.  I got dirty and sweaty and it felt good.

There is something about "playing" in the dirt that is refreshing and restorative.  It's quiet but it's not.  If I listen, really listen, I hear birds and bugs and other critters and the rustling of leaves.

Concentrating on the work at hand with the symphony of nature playing in the background helps quiet my mind.  Pulling weeds and planting flowers and watering the gardens provides an up-close glimpse into just a tiny part of God's great design.  It is a reminder of all that is good, even in the midst of what, perhaps, seems not to be.

We often refer to yardwork as Dirt Therapy.  It doesn't take much time outside to wash away the worries and aggravations of the day.  And, it's much cheaper than a shrink!

“Properly speaking, of course, there is no such thing as a return to nature, because there is no such thing as a departure from it. The phrase reminds one of the slightly intoxicated gentleman who gets up in his own dining room and declares firmly that he must be getting home.” 
The Chesterton Review, August, 1993