Monday, September 27, 2010


My grandma ("Gramma") has discontinued her chemo therapy. It has been nearly fourteen years of "fighting" lymphoma. It has been nearly fourteen years of sickness, weakness, sores from radiation... and a few months ago, she stopped. She decided to live and smile and breathe.

She ventured out to my little sister's beautiful little house the other week (with the generous help of my parents) and stayed in a hotel. Ironically, she came through the woods and over the river to see me this past weekend. She's seen four grandchildren grow up and has suffered the sudden loss of a beloved great-grandchild before we could meet him.

It's been a tough year... facing the impending loss of an incredibly strong woman whom we all love so very much... and all coping with the sudden loss of a precious little guy we all loved so very much and anticipated meeting. It's been especially tough living away from everyone as they suffer.

And, so, I've made an effort to honor my family in my new place. I pray differently... without ceasing... in every moment for the ones I love who suffer sudden or impending loss. I snuggle my supervisor's little son more. I weep with the woman who has recently miscarried. I hug the "grandmas" at the Nursing Home and tell them I love them...

Tonight, though, I honored a favorite memory of my Grandma that I had almost forgotten from my childhood. Tonight, as I helped get two sleepy little people ready for bed, I recognized the homesickness in their cries. I knew what it is to miss one's mommy. And, recalling what my Grandma used to do for us, I made Gramma's special warm milk. Sure... it was special for the sleepy little girl... but it brought a new and familiar peace to my heart. These are the ways I honor my family. I knit booties for little ones who are not yet born, praying for their safe arrival. I add a few drops of vanilla to warm milk for a weepy little girl...

I remember that the God I love and cherish is present in the midst of my suffering... holding the baby we all dreamed of holding... preparing a space for a beautiful woman... comforting a sister who mourns... supporting grown children in the anticipation of impending loss...

I remember that my God is also our God and that we are all held in compassionate, all-knowing love.

I remember these things... I weep... and I know that it is well with my soul.

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