Hope is the Daily Choice

Hope is a Choice … Again and again

The holiest of all holidays are thosememorial

Kept by ourselves in silence and apart,

The secret anniversaries of the heart …

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The longer I live, the more I realize how unsettled life becomes. I don’t know if being settled is the divine plan for life. I think the plan is more likely for us to be disturbed. Disturbed into action, forced exploration.

It would be easier to find a comfortable place to settle, but life has a way of unsettling, of pushing me out of my comfort zone. Note to self—comfort is important in underwear and shoes! I need firm foundations and footwear to navigate the Life journey.

Ten years ago, this was the funeral day of my son and daughter. This day does not bear the emotional weight of the day of the accident, but March 5 always tugs my heart. It was also the same day of my father’s funeral, fourteen years earlier. And the words spoken that day as the woman in black knelt beside two caskets about to be swallowed by the earth. the graveside service concluded … she was the last to leave–this woman dressed in black turned out to be me, between gaping twin holes, pieces of her heart in caskets. And she whispered to the ground, to the air, to the emptiness, to the darkness she forced the words out of her mouth …

We do not grieve as those without hope … But would that hope carry her? She prayed it would. And I am here to tell you that she has fought for that hope, been graced by it and continues on the journey. Hope comes in different forms, in small glimpses, a sunrise, a flower in asphalt, a baby’s smile. Struggle is often hope’s companion.  It also arrives as a gift, and if hope is a gift, there must also be a giver of it. Gifts are meant to be opened and shared,  not to collect dust on a heart shelf. Hope carries many people through dark days.

Words that have challenged and encouraged me this past month, from the book of Blessings by John O’Donohue. To Bless the Space Between Us: From A Morning Offering

May my mind come alive todayIMG_2632

To the invisible geography

That invites me to new frontiers,

To break the dead shell of yesterdays,

To risk being disturbed and changed.

May I have courage today

To live the life that I would love,

To postpone my dream no longer

But do at last what I came here for

And waste my heart on fear no more.

A song by Phil Wickham – dedicated to many others who look forward to a reunion in Heaven:

Heaven Song, by Phil Wickham, album—Heaven & Earth, released 2009.

with lyrics:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqLulbmdbLg

Heaven Song /same song with images:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U-hOMunpWo

Artist: Phil Wickham Album: Heaven & Earth Released: 2009

Missing Magic 29

Magic Twenty-Nine

Twenty-nine on the 29th IMG_4216
As hard as I try to make it palatable
The magic is missing for me.
Ten birthday cakes I could not make …
She may be having heavenly tea
Alongside Angel food cake with berries
Small comfort this day.
I see her as she was in the old photos
I remember her Little Mermaid birthday cake
Her shy smile, or vivacious big grin
She never knew her true beauty
I remember her as she sang in church,
Slight hands cupped upward
face glowing
I knew she was connecting to Heaven.
I miss her when the tulip tips poke through the soft April earth
She shared the gardener’s heart.
I miss her every Christmas,
Her CD brings me to tears
As (Hark) the Herald Angels sing to me her gift of Love.
I miss her when I see the three lovely ones
who never got to meet their precious auntie.
I miss the beauty and life she brought to the room by just being present.
And I always wonder?
And I think I will wonder that till the day I die.
DSCN7439But for this day
I choose again to remember her beauty
To remember her “gift of poverty”
Her ability to connect with those on the social edges
She loved life, and the author of it.
I choose to be grateful that I was blessed to have a daughter as lovely as her.

I always thought spring was a wonderful time to have babies, new life, new hope.
And for this day, I choose Hope.
IMG_4436
Happy Birthday Precious girl!

Two website on Hope in the grieving:
http://www.griefhaven.org/memory.html
http://www.opentohope.com/death-of-a-child/