an impromptu visit with a friend today filled my heart to the brim.
i found myself sitting on her couch, as we shared our happiness, gratefulness and woes with one another.
the more we talked, the more i could clearly see how her most painful and devastating moments of life, were the ones that set her course in life. the career path she chose, the causes that she volunteered for, the circumstances and people that would move her heart, and even the way she raised her own children.
from my perspective, this was so telling!
i once heard a songwriter reflect on a storytelling seminar that she had attended. the speaker brought attention to the pockets of life that contain a story for our lives.
so often, these moments of life are the ones that at the time, we want no part of.
i took a few days to dwell on it all.
yes, i see it...
-a fussy baby crying all night with colic.
-all the children coming down with the stomach bug for christmas.
-the pumpkin pie that was made with poultry seasoning INSTEAD of pumpkin pie seasoning.
-the burnt turkey, or worse yet, the raw turkey.
-being so broke that you needed to get creative to make all the christmas gifts give to family and friends for the holiday season.
-the kids catching you during your marathon wrapping session, only to find out there is no santa -at age 7.
the illness...the loss, the heart hurts. deep and true.
-you know things like that...
think back on your own christmas memories.
the flukes, mishaps, and even the sad ones.
these are the moments that contain the stories that we tell over and over.
these are what become the stories of our family...the remembrances of our hearts.
i'll leave you with a favorite of my own.
my parents had divorced at the end of my senior year of high school.
being the oldest of 5 children, i felt an enormous responsibility to everybody. for various reasons, the hurt the divorce caused in my life, was probably the worst pain i have ever endured.
for years, i longed for my family to be back together.
it was, if you will, my forever christmas wish.
life carried on through the years, many of my family members married, including me.
i had a sweet little family of 5 that i was so grateful for, and they filled my heart and life with joy.
it was christmas eve 2005 and this year, my dad was battling a terminal brain tumor.
my dad lived across the country at the time, but had chosen to receive his doctoring and treatments back in pittsburgh, in order to be close to his children. he stayed with me and my family during this time.
i remember going about our normal routines and traditions of christmas eve, and getting ready to got to church.
we all piled into the pew in our little church that evening. my sisters, my mom, charlie, my 3 babies, my dad and me.
just about the time that the candles lit the darkened church to sing silent night, i took a moment to look around. with a swelled heart, i realized the scenario i was sitting in the middle of.
i was placed RIGHT IN my lifelong christmas wish come true - for only one evening - one hour -one service.
somehow, i had wound up sitting with my mom on one side of me, and my dad on the other. all of us holding my babies. my husband's hand reaching over to my shoulder, and my sisters bookending the scene.
i couldn't help it. my eyes pooled with tears in anguish, gratefulness and wonder.
my dad's last christmas with us, granted me a healing on my heart that i had wished and hoped and prayed for, for years. it had now come true.
that painful time, left me a story.
one that i treasure and can pass on to my children and someday, to my grandchildren.
a magical christmas wish that was answered on love and a prayer.
don't forget in your moments this year...
in the busy, the chaos, possibly in illness, and even loss or pain...
this is the pocket of life that will hold your story...your memories...
don't be afraid to embrace every moment for what it it is.
for it is yours.
behold. your story.