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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My Others

In January 2000, my Father-in-law passed away from cancer. At the time, my husband and I had three children at home; both worked high stress jobs and were in the middle of kitchen demolition. At one time I remember my kitchen sink in plywood, being held up by bar stools. I could see through some of the hardwood floor that had been damaged, into the basement below. Our appliances had been moved to the living room where our Christmas tree was toppled and lay hopelessly out of reach. Every surface of our house had several coatings of plaster dust, sheetrock dust, saw dust, on top of the normal every day dust. My Father-in-law refused to allow Hospice to come, so we staggered our times between work, lunch and dinner and always remained on call if he needed anything in between our visits. Although the whole thing is a distant memory, the feeling of being on auto-pilot came back to me the other day as I fought to maintain some semblance of normalcy without much success. I thought to myself… “How on earth did we manage?” Then I remembered mechanically going through the motions day after day after day. As tough as it was, it is a time that has been locked away in a treasure chest of my soul. I’ll never regret one daily “chore”, or one harried moment of those last days. They were a gift granted by the one who hung the stars.  After his funeral, I remember wondering…. “How on earth do people get through things without a close network of friends?” Maintaining relationships is difficult. Regardless of how much you love someone, (husband, wife or friend), every relationship takes work and there are times, Like after my head injury, when I’ve had to make myself not walk away from everything and every body; It-was-so-much-work! God knows I’ve got my quirks just like everyone does (if you don’t know you’ve got quirks, you’ve probably got more than most),  but thank goodness, my friends and family stuck it out, loved me unconditionally through those time. You don’t realize how important your friends are, until you’re at the end of your rope. I believe God allows us to have dark times, not only so we’ll learn to lean on him, but also so we’ll shuck our foolish pride and allow ourselves to lean on others.  I know it may sound strange, but it hasn’t been easy to say yes to someone who wants to bring food, or help in some way. It would bother me more if I wasn’t so tired and if I didn’t know how tired Daddy is behind his smile. It’s made me be more determined to be a better friend and to get out of my comfort zone more often, because if I feel like this with such a great network of friends, I can’t imagine how someone who doesn’t have that must feel. I’m feeling pretty blessed by my Others right now, thank God I didn’t decide they were too much work!

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