Posted by: susanideus | November 25, 2012

Happy Birthday. Harold

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran

These words have never rung more true in my life than these last few days–Thanksgiving Day, as I sat surrounded by my family, yet oddly alone–and again today as the day dawns on Harold’s birthday. For in the midst of our gathering, there is a huge gap–Harold, my best half, the love of my life is not here. Still, we celebrate life, just by being together. We carry on in his absence because we know every day we can be together is to be cherished. And all that we are as a family is in large part due to him–who he was, his love for us, his amazing love for life. This year, this holiday, this birthday, the grief is still too new, the hurt too deep for that to heal the pain and loss…but it is a balm that begins the process. It is a start that we remember amid the tears the joy and the laughter and the love–so much love–that he brought into each of our lives.

Some say a break from old traditions is best when you suffer such a devastating loss. Perhaps that might have some merit, but for this Thanksgiving Day, we chose to stay with established routine. There was pain in doing that…Harold always did that for me, this is something Dad always helped me do, Dad would have loved this game, this was always Dad’s favorite… But I think that for this time, we needed that–not to try to eradicate the reminders but to fully embrace them, to acknowledge that while he is physically gone, he will always live in our hearts and in our memories and in the very core of our beings.

Still, it hurts and that hurt is raw and the grief is still right on the surface and still bubbles right over. It hurt me to see the anguish as my younger daughter, missing her daddy so much, just dissolved in tears. It hurts to feel the undercurrent of loss and sadness. There are no magic panaceas, nothing I can do to make the pain go away, for myself or for those I love. This is a time we must go through.

But Gibran is absolutely right–the pain and grief and intense sense of loss would not be so great had we not loved him so dearly and been loved so deeply and so completely by this dear man, and been so touched in every fiber of our beings by who he was and how he lived.

Happy Birthday, Harold, my love, my best friend, my delight…

Posted by: susanideus | November 5, 2012

Six Months…and the Sun Came Up

“For in grief nothing “stays put.” One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats. Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral?
 But if a spiral, am I going up or down it?
 How often — will it be for always? — how often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty and make me say, “I never realized my loss till this moment”? The same leg is cut off time after time.”
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

The sun will come up this morning. This is one of those days when I find that hard to believe. Six months ago today the love of my life lost his life after a brief but horrendous battle with cancer. He was gone just weeks after his diagnosis. Of course, I will always be ever so grateful he didn’t linger in the terrible pain and suffering, but we just weren’t ready to say good-bye…

Just this past weekend, it once again hit home for me how altered my life is. I was sick–nothing serious just seriously miserable. The kind of weekend when Harold would have had hot tea, soup and juice at the ready. I know I was no doubt very spoiled, and that I no doubt took it for granted far more often than not–and that I was very blessed to have had such a generous and loving helpmate.

Of course, I can, and did, make my own tea and I made a pot of soup, but it was a very lonely empty weekend. To be sure, I have any number of wonderful friends who would have brought me anything I needed or wanted. Truth be told, most times when I feel this miserable, I’m grumpy and not good company. Harold knew that too–he just made sure I knew he was there if I needed him. Hard act to follow!

Every day, I find myself doing things I didn’t before. I take out the trash, service the car, do yard work, hang pictures, deal with auto insurance, and more. It’s not that I wasn’t capable of doing those tasks before, but those particular things were not part of my everyday “stuff”. We shared chores and responsibilities, we had one another’s back, we knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We complemented one another. We always tried to remember to compliment each other. We liked each other a lot. We loved one another deeply. I’d like to think we each took good care of the other.

He was my dearest friend and losing him has left a huge gaping hole in my life. I still don’t know what will ever fill it. If possible, my grief is deeper and more painful now. Possibly it’s just that the shock and numbness is wearing off.

That being said, I am keenly aware of all the good things in my life. My family–my dear daughters (we express our love and lean on one another daily)–my twin brother (don’t know what I’d do without him–my older brother (who while not living here is so supportive and caring)–Harold’s family (who took me in as one of them over 40 years ago and thankfully have not let go of me yet)–my amazing friends and church family (all of whom have literally loved me through these last 6 months). I have a warm comfortable roof over my head (made possible by very special friends who I can never begin to pay back for their kindness). I have a marvelous job working with the best people I could wish for (a blessing on so many levels–a reason to be up and about–the financial boon to be quite honest–loving the work and that I sometimes get to be a bit creative–and the privilege of giving something back to those who give so much to me.) I have a faith that sustains and comforts me. I am beginning to write again. For the most part, I have my health (need to resolve to take better care of myself, but…)

Speaking of health, this past week I signed up for Medicare insurance, which will truly be a blessing since I have been without insurance for some time. Of course, it did bring me face to face with my age. And, it reminded me that growing old is another thing I never could have imagined doing by myself. I do have trouble envisioning a future without Harold in it. We had such plans! Regardless, the future will come, and I know it will not be all bleak. I have joy in my life and things to look forward to. It will be different, but I know I have so many amazing people to walk this new path with me. Change has never been easy for me–Harold knew that about me and would sometimes tease me about it. But more, he would challenge me to do things I never would have otherwise considered–and I believe he’s still cheering me on.

And now 6 months have gone by. How is that possible? I didn’t think I could make it 6 days, and surely not 6 weeks without Harold by my side. Yet here I am, and yes, the sun has come up.

Posted by: susanideus | September 5, 2012

Four or Forever?

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.
~Henry van Dyke

Four months, one quarter of a year… Harold has been gone since May 5. How is that possible? Sometimes I think I have grasped the enormity of that fact, but most days my life is still touched by an air of unreality, an unbelieving. Four months or forever? Some days, I just don’t know.

All the cliches are true. I turn around and expect him to be there. So many times during the day, I find that there are things I want to tell him. (Sometimes I do just that.) I wake up in the morning and am taken aback that he’s not there beside me. The phone rings and I expect his voice to greet me. I need something fixed or a stubborn lid opened–and I turn to call him for help. I knew I would miss him on the special occasions of our life and I knew I would miss his support and counsel when important decisions needed to be made. I didn’t realize it would be in the minutiae of everyday life that I would feel his loss most keenly and deeply. When will it sink in that I’m really alone here?

Speaking of cliches, I’ve heard a few. Most are well-meaning, some are even true, but none are especially comforting. “Time heals all wounds.” This may be so but it must be a very long time. “Grief looks back, you need to look ahead.” Perhaps, but no one can tell me how long I should grieve or when it will be a part of my past. For now it is part and parcel of my everyday, every moment existence. Sometimes, looking back is a comfort and good memories soothing, but the loss is a still fresh pain daily. “He’s in a better place.” My faith assures me this is true, I truly believe it, and yet it is scarce comfort when I really want him here with me. Grief can be pretty selfish and self-centered. “Everything happens for a reason.” Again, I know this to be undeniably true, but…not much has seemed very reasonable to me in the last 6 months. Not much has made sense. One day, perhaps, when I look back, I’ll see it.

There’s not a little irony in the fact that I’ve offered the same or similar words to friends with similar losses. Strange how reality and perception turn upside down when the loss is personal. The words of comfort and advice are not meant to hurt or offend or irritate. It’s just that no one has walked the same path as another. One of my dearest friends and biggest supporters right now has been a widow for over 4 years. But, as much as she does understand, she never presumes our circumstances are the same, for they are not. I am amazed to realize that while I tried to be a support and comfort to her when her husband died, I really had no clue. None of us ever does. This is a path we walk alone, with our own grief, and with our God.

Don’t get me wrong. I am grateful beyond words for every bit of support that I’ve gotten, and for all of the words of love and kindness. For regardless of what was said, I know the intent has been to love me through this difficult time and to support me whenever and however possible. Words cannot express my gratitude for all that has been offered and given over these last months. I could simply not not have survived without my support network. I don’t want anyone to think I’m complaining about anything that has been said. The problem lies in the topsy-turvy world I live in right now, in my inability to fully grasp all that has happened, in my grief-obscured mind that isn’t yet able to deal with this great loss. Words that once made sense, and  might again, just cannot always sooth my fractured heart. But, trust me and believe this–the love comes through. It lifts me and sustains me.

Life goes on. Regardless of what I feel right now, life has not stopped because of my loss and grief. Time marches on. And, in brief moments, I am aware that time will somehow help.

…Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
~Psalm 30:5 NJKV

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Since time is the one immaterial object which we cannot influence–neither speed up nor slow down, add to nor diminish–it is an imponderably valuable gift.
~Maya Angelou

So, four or forever? This night, it is both.

Posted by: susanideus | August 31, 2012

Bridges

I’ll take your part
When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
See how they shine
If you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
~from the song BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER
by Simon and Garfunkel

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A friend loves at all times.
He is there to help when trouble comes.
~Proverbs 17:17 (NIRV)

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In the months since Harold first became ill, I have experienced so many ranges of emotions and moods–love, fear, hope, pain, love, faith, anger, calm, hopelessness, confusion, love, grace, relief, helplessness, anguish, faithlessness, rage, love, dread, fatigue, doubt, peace, worry, love…and the list goes on, up and down, all over the place. And the one that comes through over and over again is love. Being loved, giving love, surrounded by love. I see love in my life being manifested in so many ways and when I ponder that, what comes to mind immediately is the word FRIEND.

For 44 years, I shared every day with the love of my life, my best FRIEND, the strongest and most faithful (faith-filled) person I have ever known. Through so many days and in so many ways, Harold’s love and FRIENDSHIP defined the days of my life. Even when his physical body failed him, the qualities that exemplified who he was shone through and gave me strength and peace.

My daughters, Becca and Johanna, always a source of joy in my life since their lives began, are now as adults, two of my dearest FRIENDS. They are generous with their time and resources, they support me, they listen to me, they keep me company, they love me through all my foibles and eccentricities, they put up with my moods while at the same time keeping me grounded in reality. They are priceless treasures.

Family, friends of long standing, church community–all have been and continue to be the glue that holds me together when everything seems to be falling apart. (Lest I forget, my online “family” from all over this big world, many of whom I have never met face to face, but who are a constant source of love and encouragement, belong here too.) Especially in the last few months, I simply could not have made it through without them. There is not enough space nor words adequate to describe all that these many FRIENDS have done for me and with me. An unbearable time has been made bearable, yes even joyful at times.

Yesterday was a perfect example…the day that was to have been our 44th anniversary…one I approached with not a little misgiving in my heart. I wanted to acknowledge and celebrate those years of love but the aloneness, the missing of my lifetime partner threatened to overwhelm me. Two miracles redeemed the day.

Early in the afternoon, my doorbell rang; there stood a young lady delivering the most beautiful bouquet of flowers from my children. They had asked for lots of daisies (long a favorite of my girls and always symbolizing them in my heart) surrounding a gorgeous yellow rose (the one flower Harold always sent on our anniversary–being a true Texan, he always called me his “yellow rose”). They told me that they wanted me to know I was surrounded by their love even though they could not be here in person to hug me. My children, my FRIENDS.

Last evening, I was taken out and treated to a lovely dinner by two dear GIRLFRIENDS, Jeanie and Donna. They just didn’t want me to be alone. Their love and thoughtfulness touched a chord deep in my soul.

More than ever, I have been made aware how very precious FRIENDS are–angels, miracles–that are there at precisely the time they are needed, gifts from God making His presence known in a very tangible way.

I woke up today with this old Simon and Garfunkel classic running through my mind. It epitomizes the role FRIENDS play in my life right now. They are bridges, helping me over the gap left by Harold’s loss. His enduring love and friendship will be in my heart always, but when I need a hug, a hand to hold, it is these FRIENDS who will be here “sailing right behind”.

Posted by: susanideus | August 30, 2012

A Day to Celebrate

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 NLT)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

“What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen each other in all labor, to minister to each other in all sorrow, to share with each other in all gladness, to be one with each other in the silent unspoken memories?”  (George Eliot)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

August 30, 1968 dawned cloudy and muggy–unusual for any day in Albuquerque. But this was not just any day. It was my wedding day, one that I’d always dreamed of as being sunny, bright, and special in every way. Special I was sure I’d have, for I was marrying my best friend and the love of my life. Sunny and bright remained in question all day long. As time for the wedding drew near, I seemed to be the only one in my household getting ready. In frustration, I called Harold and told him I’d no doubt be hitch-hiking to the church. He laughed that special Harold laugh that was so much a part of the man I’d fallen in love with, and he promised that whenever I got there, he’d be waiting for me at the altar.

Waiting he was, and the wedding and reception went off without a single problem. We left to spend the night at an upscale place near the foothills that we’d decided to splurge on for that one night before we left for our lovingly planned week in the Colorado mountains.

The clouds finally won out and we were serenaded by thunder and lightning that rolled down those foothills. So instead of going back out, we decided on room service. Both of us had been too excited to eat much, but then we looked at the menu…and settled on splitting a hamburger, the only thing that came close to fitting into our limited travel budget. When it arrived, Harold served up our “sirloin under glass” with much flair and flourish. We laughed and feasted!

The next morning brought the sun and blue skies we’d been hoping for. We went out to the car, ready to head for Colorado–only to find that our clothes for the trip, left hanging on a rod in the back seat, were gone. Flabbergasted, we wondered if we could live a week with just the clothes on our back. An airman and a college student, we couldn’t afford to replace what had been taken.  Then we saw it, a soggy note under the windshield wiper. Our “friends”, the same ones whose chase we thought we had eluded the night before, had managed to get in the car and remove our things.  They were nice enough to leave us a note about what they’d done, and they did tell us where the clothes were; unfortunately, that part of the note had washed away in the downpour! We spent the next hour and a half calling around trying to locate which of our enterprising friends had our possessions. True to his nature, Harold laughed through it all and had me doing the same in no time. Our trip, complete with our clothes, was everything we had hoped for and dreamed of.

It was the perfect beginning of a marriage that spanned over four decades, not always ideal, not always easy, not always smooth–but ALWAYS full of love and laughter, faith and friendship.

August 30, 2012 has dawned sunny and hot. Today was to have been our 44th anniversary. We were going to be celebrating at our favorite hideaway in Ouray, Colorado. Instead I woke up alone. Just as I have for the past 3 months and 25 days. In my wildest dreams, I could never have envisioned this day turning out this way.

I have cried, I have screamed in anger and frustration, I have wallowed in the depths of sadness and despair, I have had days when the pain and loneliness have seemed unbearable, I have grieved deeply. I suspect there is more of the same to come.

For today, though, I choose to celebrate. Not with parties and gifts and crowds and dancing. No, this is a celebration of my heart and spirit, a celebration of thankfulness for the almost 43 years of love and laughter I had with my best friend. Thank you, Harold, for gifting me with those years. Your deep abiding love and your tremendous faith keep me going, and the memories of the good times and laughter buoy my spirits daily.  The realization that together we weathered hard times and sad times gives me strength still.

All my love to you on our special day from your Susie…

Posted by: susanideus | April 1, 2012

Pre-Dawn Reflections

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work. You don’t give up.
- Anne Lamott

4:45 AM–Harold shifts and squirms his way back to sleep after one of the “vampire visits” as the nocturnal blood draws are called around here. Hopefully he’ll get a bit more sleep before another round of vitals and meds. It’s been a LONG 6 weeks of life-changing, mind-blowing events. Sleep has been scarce and every bit he gets helps. I’ll be awake now but that’s OK as I was able to steal a couple of hours myself in this surprisingly comfortable purple recliner.

6 weeks since a seemingly mild stroke. Several weeks of steady recovery and then the second stroke, second hospitalization, struggle to find the right treatment and the best place for the care he needs. Had it all figured out–repair and rehab set in motion.

Then came Friday when our world changed. A diagnosis of CANCER as the root of all the problems. Unexpected by all of us, down to the head of his medical team. What started as a journey to repair a heart has morphed into a quest for more information and treatment protocols.

And the waiting… Friday diagnoses mean Monday tests at the earliest. A long night & day of no food & drink which makes my guy real grouchy on top of everything else. Once the biopsy is done 5-7 more days of waiting for results. We basically know what’s there, but not what kind (5 different kinds of thyroid cancer), what stage, or what the treatment will be. So much more unknown than certain.

In the meantime, stoke rehab continues so his body will be as strong as possible for the battles ahead of us.

And he sleeps on… And I reflect on uncertainty, fear, strength, endurance, courage, family, faith, life and love…always love…

Posted by: susanideus | May 1, 2011

Late Night Thoughts on Monumental News

It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it…We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but the positive affirmation of peace. ~Martin Luther King Jr.

Media sources worldwide are reporting as I write about the death of Osama Bin Laden at the hands of American Special Forces. What will it all mean?

Across the U.S., I see jubilant crowds, at the White House, at Ground Zero, waving flags,singing the National Anthem, and generally celebrating heartily. Certainly, in thinking back to 9-11 and those horrific and unforgettable images and unspeakable losses, there is ample reason to be grateful, even jubilant, that the world has been rid of a major terrorist and enemy of the United States. So much credit and admiration are due the troops who carried out the operation successfully and apparently with little collateral damage–and equal is due to all those who worked so tirelessly to track the tyrant down and bring him to justice. So celebration is warranted, but perhaps also, some caution would not be so out of place.

This “triumph” happened on President Obama’s watch and I admire him for giving his support to those who planned and carried out this operation. It took courage, knowing all the potential pitfalls and dangers. I resent those who are already turning this into a political issue. I saw no sign of triumph in the President’s demeanor, no smugness over having scored a personal victory. I saw a man burdened by the enormity of all that has been, and still is, at stake. He gave full acknowledgment to the troops involved in carrying out the actual attack and to the intelligence community who made it possible. And, let’s be clear–if this had been a failed operation, the blame would have been laid entirely on Mr. Obama’s shoulders. So no hypocrisy or double standards are acceptable to my mind.

Already the State Department has issued warnings that there could be retaliatory strikes of some sort, although as of this moment, official threat levels have not been raised. (Since I have a daughter traveling out of the country tomorrow, I am very concerned and watchful.)

Thus, right now, my main response is that while I cannot deny being thankful that Bin Laden himself is no longer a threat, I pray for peace in the wake of this very significant news. There are those who are not celebrating this news and we must not lose sight of that fact.

I ask that you join me in prayers for worldwide peace and a cessation of hostilities and/or retaliation, as well as prayers for all of our troops everywhere.

May God bless our country and keep it safe!

Posted by: susanideus | April 26, 2011

Monday Musings

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.  ~Anne Lamott

Are there certain authors who touch your soul, speak to your situation, resonate with something deep within you? For me, Anne Lamott is one such, especially in her series on spirituality. We have traveled different roads but we have searched for the same things. Honesty and authenticity and relevance.

Just show up, try to do the right thing–what I’m attempting to do to navigate out of a soul deep period of darkness. And, indeed, the dawn will be coming. To get out, though, I think I have to acknowledge the darkness and learn from it. I need to not berate myself for “losing” faith, but rather for accepting this a part of my spiritual journey.

…the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.  ~ Anne Lamott

It occurs to me that part of the process is an old nemesis of mine–patience. I didn’t get where I was overnight and I won’t find my way out overnight, no matter how much I wish it were so. I’m not a patient person. I had gotten to a place of paralysis and inaction, and now I should be patient? But I need to do just that. I need to be patient with the process–and patient with myself. Patience, as I understand it, is not inaction or lethargy, but an act of will.

Dictionary.com defines patience as: an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay; a quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care. (Couldn’t they at least left off the even-tempered part?)

Anne Lamott said she once heard a preacher say “hope is a revolutionary patience.”  I don’t know that I’m doing anything revolutionary here, but I’m doing my best to seek hope and cling to it tightly. If I must be still, meditate, study, seeking hope and faith to wash over me in refreshing waves, then that is what I shall do, for as long as it takes. For too long I have been so busy being busy, I evidently out-ran the waves. Another favorite author says this:

I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Always the patience…

I plan to spend much time outside, surrounded by the beauty and serenity of nature, to reconnect with the rhythms of life–to rediscover a rhythm for my life. Too long have I filled my days with meaningless activity, trying to distract myself from the changes that are a natural part of being alive.

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
 We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.   Mother Teresa

Another thought for tonight and then it’s time to get some sleep–”see the stars”–it occurs to me that this is best done when it is quite dark. Hmmmm…

Posted by: susanideus | April 24, 2011

Sunday Sighs

This is the Easter message, that awakening is possible, to the goodness of God, the sacredness of human life, the sisterhood and brotherhood of all. ~Anne Lamott

For I remember it is Easter morn, and life and love and peace are all new born.  ~Alice Freeman Palmer

New beginnings! An awakening world. An awakening soul and spirit. Hope. The message of Easter–a light in my heart.

The desert is finally coming alive. The lovely ocotillo are beginning to bloom, and green has at last returned to the earthy palette. We’ve had no measurable rain for months and the desert is a serious drought. As I have been. For months, my soul has been parched, my spirit dry. As with the desert around me, I have lacked the sustenance I need.

In my case, I’ve neglected to feed my soul and spirit. In my misguided attempts to be “busy” and “productive” in my new state of retirement, I’ve taken no time for personal contemplation, no devotional reading, no time alone–all of which are vital to my inner well-being. I somehow figured if I wasn’t “doing” something, I would not be earning my keep as a stay-at-home retiree. Ouch–where did that guilt come from? a life of being defined by what I did instead of who I am?? (Maybe another post here?)

Instead of being productive, I allowed myself to completely run out of energy, motivation and hope. I allowed doubt and fear and mind-numbing fatigue to creep in and take over. I found myself accomplishing nothing at all.

Now it’s Spring–Easter has come. I invite newness and resurrection and growth into my being–to refresh and rejuvenate and replace the scarcity with abundance, hope and faith.

Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future;  faith is the courage to dance to it today. ~ Kuzmic
Posted by: susanideus | April 22, 2011

Friday Feelings

Today is Good Friday for Christians, the historic day of Christ’s crucifixion. For the first Christians, the disciples and all those living at the time of Christ, it was a dark day, one during which their beloved Messiah was cruelly slain and their cause seemed lost. Since that time, the Christian world has marked the day, but with the knowledge of Sunday’s resurrection. Still a somber occasion but tempered by the knowing.

I had a dear friend who, when days were dark and spirits low, was fond of quoting Dr. Tony Campolo: “It’s Friday but Sunday’s coming!”

I’ve felt that way of late. Down, but knowing that it wouldn’t last forever. Having a long-standing faith in a loving God has seen me through before, so I also know that “Sunday’s coming.”

Faith, like many worthwhile things, I believe, needs to be exercised to be strong. Mine has always been there, but sometimes I’ve been so weary and worn down, it’s seemed too hard to reach out and claim it. Fortunately, I have friends–you know who you are–who have always been there to pray on my behalf and love me back to action. So it has been recently.

Faith doesn’t mean that everything will always be good in life. That’s luck. Faith means you’ll always be connected no matter where life takes you.  (Spoken by Lu, a wise curandera in The Desert Pilgrim by Mary Swander)

There’s that idea of connection again, similar to the interwoven threads of a tapestry, as I mentioned in my last post. I am so grateful for those in my life who hold me up, walk with me on life’s journey, and love me no matter what. They surely will be represented by specially chosen jewel-like threads whenever I do finally see the finished tapestry. They are gems of inestimable value.

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.  ~C.S. Lewis

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