As the end of 2008 approaches, we look back on what has happened, what has left us floundering, what has given us new space to breathe and grow, what we relinquished and what we have embraced, what has broken our hearts and what has melted in to seal the shattered places. What I find as I look back is that no matter what I thought I had under control, the path I had laid out, the purpose I was certain I had found, meant nothing to the larger hands at work, gentler, wiser hands.
It's getting dark as I write this and I can see the first few snowflakes of a winter that is predicted to be colder and snowier than recent years. For the first time in my adult life, I can sit inside and watch. I don't have to drive in it or climb poles in it or pump man holes or lament the fact that freezing skin does not age well. I think I have mourned the loss of my job. Retirement seemed so enticing until I was released, then I didn't know exactly what to do.
Today, I should have been cleaning house or writing yet another term paper or Christmas shopping... but I decided to slow down for just a moment to ponder how precious the people in my life are. I've decided to send fewer cards this year, Instead I bought a goat with the money. Not for us, but through Heifer International. Somewhere in the world, a little family will receive the gift of a goat given in celebration of those I love. Most of them won't know about the goat... they'll just think I forgot to remember them this year... but I'll know. Most of them will never see this blog or realize how much I think about them but in case they do manage to visit it will be here waiting.
So... this is my thank you note. My love letter. Creative writing based not on another lame assignment, but on what is in my heart. It will be way too sentimental. It will be hastily typed, but I hope each of you know that my love and appreciation for you is never rushed, never
taken for granted and although not expressed nearly enough... heartfelt and for always.
Thank you for love without condition
Thank you for early morning phone calls
Thank you for joyful "hellos" and tearful "good byes"
Thank you for safe plane trips and the pictures that do turn out
Thank you for Friends, our chosen families
Thank you for Moms and Dads
Thank you for Husbands and Wives
Thank you for Sisters and Brothers
Thank you for Aunts and Uncles and Cousins and Nieces and Nephews
and all the amazing "Greats" that fill the next generation with laughter
Thank you for new babies and violet yarn
Thank you for beach trips and shopping trips and road trips
Thank you for birthdays and Heavendays shared with understanding and celebration
Thank you for e mail and the friends at distant keyboards
Thank you for Moms who help with shower curtain cushions
Thank you for Maw Maw's Shannon box of memories
Thank you for Gustav and Hannah and the closeness that happens
without lights or air conditioning
Thank you for a sun that rises every morning followed by a moon that rises every night
Thank you for big hugs and little hugs and the pat you on the back while I'm hugging you hugs
Thank you for the courage to let go of some things so that our hands are open to receive others
Thank you for every cat-astrophe delivered with purrs and snuggles (maybe)
Thank you for stillness
Thank you for hope
Thank you for a life that continues to unfold
Thank you for the understanding that to know the depths of great joy,
we might also have to know the depths of great sorrow
Thank you for whispers in breezes
Thank you for the certainty of season following season
Thank you for each person reading this note
understanding that they are the colors and fragrances and melodies
of my life.
Thank you for the countless things that this page simply can't hold.
I will never say it often enough but I will feel it in every moment.
I love you and wish you not only a holiday season of wonder but a lifetime.