Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Crabapples, near death experience and blessings

Friday, March 17, 2006
It's another lovely day in Colorado. The birds have been fluttering around the crabapple tree my husband wants to cut down, but I won't let him. Soon it will be covered with sweet-smelling white flowers, followed by lovely green leaves and later by red crabapples the size of walnuts. They make the most wonderful jellies and butters.
My dad nearly died yesterday. Not for the first time diabetes took a swipe at him, but didn't take him out. One of these days it will. There. I've said it. And yet, I still steel myself against the truth of those words. I can't bear the thought, but I hate to know that he is suffering.
I have watched as he has lost so much of what he loved in life. He was the guy who backpacked over mountains with 150 pounds on his back. Most packers like to ensure that their packs are as light as possible, but my dad would carry a full axe when most would carry a hatchet, a cast iron griddle, where most carry aluminum mess kits, and real eggs when others carried powdered. We ate well in the woods.
Dad has never been content with good enough. His fences would survive any winds less than hurricane speed and even then, I'm not so sure they wouldn't be standing when nothing else would be. I once joked that he should use telephone poles for the fence posts but was threatened by the family never to mention that in his hearing. He would have done it.
He wanted the basement bathroom to be bright. When he was done painting it, I swear it was so bright it nearly glowed in the dark. The yellow was almost too bright to look at. Where he ever found that shade...
I rarely cried until I turned 40. At least not in public. I hate crying in public and I've never understood how emotional some women can be. My parents moved away several years ago. All my kids have grown and left home. My best friend moved away, and I realized that it was time to leave the church I grew up in. The convergence of these events seems to have unblocked my tear ducts. I rarely get through a church service, a sappy show, an emotional commercial, whatever without some water works. I hate it. But there you have it. The funny thing is that I'm not unhappy. Sometimes it seems that I cry for beauty, for joy, at blessings, at pleasure.
I choose not to be unhappy. I chose to be happy. I chose to take pleasure in the wonders that surround me day by day and to look at each thing in my life as a blessing.
I am blessed by the beauty in the world. I am blessed by the goodness of my friends. I am blessed that my children are becoming great people. I am blessed to have dogs who follow me everywhere. My entourage, I like to call them. I am blessed that with each thing that happens, bad or good, God reveals himself to me more and more.
I am blessed that in spite of my physical limitations, I am able to touch people, to help people, to bless people. I am blessed.
My friend Sarah ends her cards and letters and visits with the following phrase: Blessings on your head.
I say the same to you: Blessings on your head. I pray that you will have all the good and wonderful things I want for myself. I pray you will have peace with God. I pray that you will know Him. I pray that you will have health, good friends, enough money to provide for your needs, and enough blessings to make you grateful throughout the day.
I pray that you will know the hand of a loving God.
Blessings on your head.

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