Monday, August 12, 2013

Make A Little Birdhouse in Your Soul

I haven't posted in a long time, and haven't posted with any regularity for even longer.

So many things have happened in the last few years, only some of it immediately positive. I have been content to let events and time pass unmentioned, allowing the bad to wash over with the good.

In the last year or so, in no particular order, my mother died after a stroke. My uncle died. My husband's grandmother died. Our neighbor died. Another neighbor died. Fathers and mothers and grandparents and brothers and sisters of friends died. Dear friends became very ill and came far too close to not being here any more. It was terrible, scary, too sad to put into words.

Friends and acquaintances died, including two who were just starting out in life. We did our best to explain things to our little one that we ourselves don't always understand. How do you explain "faith"? How do you explain "why"?

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen ~ Hebrews 11:1

In one 12-month period, ten people we knew or were related to died. We did our best to do what family and friends do. We did our best to grieve and comfort and pray. We mourned. It didn't always make sense, but we muddled through. Not easy, we're never promised easy, even when we come to expect it. 

It seemed that as soon as things started to feel normal, as soon as our sea was calm, a new storm would gather and we'd find ourselves in the middle of another maelstrom. Bad things came so fast and so hard. Most of it made no sense.

We lost our elderly cat because she was old, lost our parrot to an infection brought on by nearby forest fires, lost our not-elderly cat to illness.

Smoke from nearby forest fires

Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots ~ Victor Hugo


Small things kept us going.
Our dog got sick (cancer), then got better after surgery. Thank goodness. We still have our beloved dog.

We started home schooling our kindergartner, who became our first grader; who went from not reading to reading years ahead of her age/grade levels. We did everything we could to shelter her, to protect her, to explain to her, to reason with her, to teach her, to help her. She's fine. Our older daughters are fine.

We all have each other.

We're grateful and thankful and humble.

Thank God for friends, for family, and most of all, for my husband. He always does his level best to be there. I am so thankful for him.

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort ~ Jane Austen

The storm seems to have receded for now. Calm replaces chaos, and life seems to be returning to a more normal rhythm. It seems right to write again and it seems like a good time to extend myself beyond my little world, to give back and to see what it out there.

Flansy drowsing on freshly killed tissue paper

We got a new kitten, named Flansy. She's named after John Flansburgh (half of They Might Be Giants). We love her, and while she doesn't replace the two we've lost, she makes us laugh and she loves to cuddle. We adore her. Speaking of TMBG, we went to see them recently, out first concert in years. So much fun, and a much needed alone/together night away.

Life goes on, sometimes in different directions than before. 

I've recently volunteered to help with my daughter's youth group. The application asked what I'd been doing for the last several years - 5 or 7 years - something like that. I couldn't think of anything to write. I was sad, and a bit ashamed. I haven't been idle, but I haven't looked elsewhere for things to occupy my time in a very long time. I gave up being out there for being right here. Now its time to be out there again, at least some of the time.

And so, I'm here again, too.