That thing you give others so freely

People.

This one is going to be short and sweet tonight.

 

You can only do the best you can do with what you have at the time.  

Don’t look back and question yourselves.  Don’t give yourself a hard time because, looking back, you can clearly see what you should have done.

I am putting these words on “paper” tonight because I’ve had to speak them to more than one of my sisterfriends this week.

Just as my Mama said them to me numerous times over the years.

She was all about doling out some grace, that one.

And more importantly, she was all about telling me to give myself some grace.  (And ironically, she didn’t cut me any slack or give me any grace when I wasn’t giving myself grace…..if you can follow that train of thought.)

Grace.  I know you can give it.  I’ve seen it.  I’ve been on the receiving end of it.  (Thank you for that, by the way.)

Now how about you give yourself some?

You did the best you could do at the time.

Yay, you!  Well done.

And so now, we move forward.  To tomorrow.

To do the best we can do with what we are given then.

Grace and much love to all.

img_1763

 

Keeping an Eye on the Ball

I’ve spent the past few days hanging out with and checking on Miss K.  Her family went out of town and left her here at home, just a few houses down from mine.  I’ve gone over a few times a day to check on her, make sure she’s eating, and let her out to go to the bathroom.

Miss K is a canine friend of mine.

And she is a love.

I have yet to learn her story, but she only has one eye.  She is so well-behaved that she has the run of the house when her family is gone.  She is protective and has to be sure it’s me before I can get inside the house good.  And she is smart.  And fast.

This evening before her people were due home in a couple of hours, I went over to let her out once more and to say goodbye.  She has a tennis ball that she loves and she shyly brought it to me once a few months ago when I was hanging out with her. She’s so good at tossing it from her mouth just so, and it rolls right to me.  Amazing.  Miss Sophie has yet to acquire that skill.  Actually she has yet to figure out that she has to LET GO OF HER TOY for me to be able to throw it when she brings it to me, but that’s another story.

Miss K and I went in the backyard.  She was excited because it was a pretty day, she loves to chase the ball, and I think just maybe she’s starting to like me just a little bit.  This wasn’t the first time we’ve done this, but for some reason I paid more attention to her movements this time.  I watched her watching the ball in my hand.  I couldn’t fake her off for a minute.  She knew when I released the ball and when I didn’t.  With her one good eye, she could track it and chase after it at the same time and she never. missed. a. beat.  She didn’t run into a tree or lose the ball or anything other than keep her eye on the prize and get it.

Yes.  Amazing.

As I watched her, I thought about how whatever her story is hadn’t kept her from doing something great.  She has literally and figuratively kept her eye on the ball and done amazing things.

How often have I let my physical and even emotional wounds define me and keep me from trying to do something?

Far too often, y’all.  There have been times in my life when, if there was a doctor’s excuse to be had, I would’ve taken it.   Hurt shoulder, headaches, tired/wore-out-ness, grief, pain, heartache…..I’ve let any one of those things give me pause at one time or another.

And I’m not saying I shouldn’t have.

What I am saying is that once Miss K started healing after whatever caused her to lose that one eye, she didn’t sit back and let that always affect what she tried in this life.  Instead she wove that “loose end” into the blanket of her story, and she kept on going.  With only one eye at that point, but she kept going nonetheless.

And I think that’s pretty fabulous.

Tonight I’m thankful for a precious dog who reminded me not to leave all these loose ends dangling, ready to trip me up or slow me down.  She reminded me that it is important to stop and take in what is happening, but then it’s just as important, if not more so, to weave it in, keep my eye on the ball, and go for it.

And that’s quite something for a sweet little dog to have mastered in her short life.

I’m happy for her that her family is home now, but I’m going to miss that shy little powerhouse.

May we all have such courage to keep on going, to chase that ball, and never lose sight of what’s ahead.  No matter how hard the past has been.

Love to all.

Husum-Schlosspark-Playing-Dog

This is not Miss K. She didn’t sign a release for me to use her photo. (I mentioned she was shy, right?) But isn’t this a lovely dog in a lovely park? By Frühstückbeistefanie (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

On Being Off-Balance

I have had the great pleasure and joy of having not one but two Wesleyannes in the house this weekend.

Aub came home, and her sisterfriend joined her.  The whole crew, including Miss Sophie, have carried on as if it were one big party.

And it has been really, because I can’t think of anything better to celebrate than being together and napping and laughing and playing and napping–oh yeah, and napping.  Because, you know, college is hard.

As these young women will tell you, the struggle is real.  One week back from Spring Break and I know they had at least three mid-terms to take this past week.  Underwater basket weaving was not one of them.

So sleep has definitely been on the agenda.

But so has fun.

This afternoon and evening the girls and I cleared a spot in the Nest and painted.  I am giggling to myself a bit, with delight, because when I sat down with my own paintbrush and invited them, Aub’s friend claimed she wasn’t much of an artist.

IMG_7147

Well, I beg to differ.  She did a beautiful job.  Hello, freehanded it.  Nailed it.

IMG_7148

As Aub was lettering, she got frustrated, saying she thought her words were off-balance.  I looked, and I thought she was doing a fabulous job.  In the meantime, I was getting ready to Mod Podge my words on my work, and I slipped up and placed it at a bad angle.  As I fussed to myself and was quickly peeling it off so I could move it, both girls looked over and said it looked great.

IMG_7150

They both suggested I write about being off-balance tonight.

So here are my thoughts.

We can feel off-balance, frustrated that everything isn’t a-okay-perfect in our lives.  The truth is nothing is ever going to be 100% perfect.  It’s hard to plan ahead on where to start so we end up with everything in exactly the right place at the end of the day.

However, isn’t it interesting that, while each of us thought her own piece was a train wreck and all off-kilter, the others thought it was lovely?

That’s all I have tonight.  What you think is a tore up mess and very obvious to the world probably ISN’T.  So just keep on keeping on, trying your best, because everyone has something go wonky at some point.  Grace abounds.

And sometimes when things are wonky is when they are most beautiful.

May you all find yourselves with just enough off-balance to keep things interesting.

Love to all.

Dreams Come True, The Highway Don’t Care

Y’all know that Taylor Swift song–The Highway Don’t Care?  Oops.  Just found out it is really attributed to Tim McGraw.  But she sings in it and she’s Taylor after all (I live in a house dominated by females who LOVE TS, so my apologies, Mr. McGraw).

The song basically says that despite all that is going on in this person’s life, the highway don’t care.  Life goes on, sweetie, the highway don’t care.

So today has been the official launch date of dreams coming true.

*insert MAJOR happy dance here*

My oldest took a selfie with me on Sunday before she headed back to college.  “Next time we see each other, you’ll be a published author.”

She’s stretching it, but I’ll take it.

And smile really big.

The littles heard me talking about it, so I told them about the e-book and my story.  They were quite excited.  They love books, and we always talk about the authors and illustrators, so they can relate and, unless I am way off, I think they are just slightly impressed.  I can put together a full meal complete with dessert and I get nothing, but this–this, they get.

Cooter asked if I would be signing “my” book.  Funny how much they pay attention.  They’ve been to a book signing on more than one occasion and made friends with the authors–Karen Spears Zacharias, Ann Hite, and Renea Winchester–and all of those beautiful people became our friends.  So the bar is set very high about how this should go.  I explained to him that I wrote a story in a big book with lots of stories by amazing writers.  He looked at me and asked again, “Are you going to sign your book?”

So if you see my name in Sharpie on any electronic device around here, you’ll know why.

(He insisted, for goodness’ sake!  And have you seen that face?  Oh me.)

The thing is my life changed a little today.  A dream came true.  And I’m so tickled I can’t contain the joy.

But like going to school on your birthday and having midterms, life goes on.

First up Miss Sophie did not tend to *ahem* all of her business on our walk this morning.  So I felt the need to watch her like a hawk when we were back in the house.  She doesn’t have accidents often, but if she doesn’t go and I miss her signal (and she’s so subtle sometimes, that one), well somebody’s gonna have a mess to clean up.

Second our Princess accidentally poured almost an entire bowl of cereal WITH milk in her lap, all over her gown and robe and the table and the floor and the *sigh* fabric covered chair.  What do you know?  I was watching the dog like a hawk and STILL had a mess to clean up.

You know why?

Because the Highway don’t care.

We got through that, and I told the littles we needed to get lessons done before we could take on the task our Kindness Elves left for us. (We have Kindness Elves visiting us from England this year–when we wake up in the morning they have a suggestion for us about something we can do to scatter kindness.  This idea came from Imagination Tree.)  They suggested we make cookies, Maemae’s cookies, today to share–in honor of my story in the book (recipe included).

The littles were eager to get on to the cookie making portion of the day, so math happened.

I sit with Cooter to *ahem* encourage his little second grade self.  We are doing some review work right now.  He came to this word problem.

IMG_5993

We’ve seen this kind before, with smaller numbers.  But it never fails to crack Cooter up, and I’m thrilled that he finds it funny.  Dear Saxon, you have my homeschooled boy thinking that public school is really wacky with some of the things you say are in the classroom store.  Today he giggled so hard over eggs and rolls being in the classroom store that I had a hard time bringing him back around.

And then there was the sock question.  Y’all know those things are the bane of my existence, right?

The question was: Five pairs of socks were moved from the washer to the dryer.  When the socks were dry, only eight socks came out.  What happened ?

So I’m not really sure where Saxon was going with this line of questioning.  I mean, I know the math–10-8=2.  2 socks were missing.  But oh the joy that boy brings me!  I looked at his answer, and he had written, “NOTHENG.”

Okay, spelling’s not his forte, but you know what?  He’s right.

And Saxon, you know why he’s right?

Because this is NO BIG DEAL in our house.  It happens all the time. What would be a shocker and need answering as to what happened is if ALL THE SOCKS that were put in the washer and dryer came out SAFE AND SOUND and MATCHED.

Notheng, indeed, my boy.

He cracks me up.

He’s also slower than Christmas despite being motivated.  Not because he doesn’t understand but because he has so much to talk about.  Important stuff.  Star Wars.  Minecraft.  Interesting dreams. Dogs.  Cats.  Mushrooms.  Anything but math.

But they got it all done.

And it was cookie making time.

I know I’m already up for the Worst Parent award, so I will go ahead and confess that mine have never really been a part of the cookie making for very long at the time.  Either they get bored waiting on pans of cookies to get done to be refilled, or they make me so crazy that I thank them for their time and move it along.

Sad sad sad.  I’m sorry, crew. I’m trying to do better.

IMG_5994

So today I got one pan done and then left them to it.  I rerolled the dough as needed, but I let them cut and have fun.  I really did.  I kept my mouth closed and let them enjoy.

It’s Mama’s recipe and in memory of her anyway, so it was appropriate.

IMG_5995

Oh but was it an adventure!

I learned something very interesting.  I apologize to my Bubba, because I guess we never made cookies together.  At least I don’t remember him doing what Cooter did today.

It was a simple task really.  I have my Mama’s little boy and girl cookie cutters.  I handed each child their gender cutter and let them go to town.

And I have never seen as such.

I walked over to get a pan to put in the oven and–
Y’all.

Legless gingerbread boys.  Headless ones.  Ones with half a body.

IMG_5996

The girls were quite lovely.

Hmmmm.

Cooter.

Seven year old boys and cookie cutting are an interesting combination.

I finally asked that they cut out whole people as I wanted to have some to share (that was the idea, right, Kindness Elves?).  I asked that there be no more body part cookies.

Which sent the boy into fits of giggles.

Oh me.

He even suggested we could share them like that–as puzzle cookies or something.  *sigh*

The Highway don’t care, y’all.

(And yeah, I did pretty much laugh a lot this afternoon.)

All in all a good day.  Despite running a few minutes late everywhere I went and losing an earring in the process (the hazards of wearing clip-ons I reckon).  But I was given grace and my friend helped me look for my earring (found it), so all in all–

the Highway might not care but my friends and family do.

It’s been a special day.  A busy one.  And one that I won’t soon forget.

But here’s the lesson I want my children to hear whenever they get around to reading this–

First, our washer eats socks.  Don’t use socks for math problems.  Ever.

Second, if the dog doesn’t go, watch the cereal bowls, not her.  They are committing hari-kari around here.

Third, it doesn’t matter how wonderful life is going for you, or what awesome things are happening, life is still life–filled with bumps and bruises and logs in the road.  It’s never going to be perfect.  But it’s what you do with that–that’s what makes it special and beautiful and awesome.  Even in the midst of spilled cereal and lost earrings and body part cookies–keep smiling. It’s never that serious. That’s what deserves the happy dance in life.

Fourth, even when everything seems to be falling apart and the Highway ain’t listening to you or your woes at all–there is always someone who will.  A friend.  A sister.  A brother.  An Aunt.  You are loved.  From both sides of the veil.

Don’t let anything or anyone steal your joy.

And that’s why I’m still doing my happy dance with the book pulled up on that e-reader with my name scrawled across it in permanent ink.

Ha.

Tonight I’m thankful for all of you.  Thanks for sharing the journey and for caring, even when bowls and puppies and earrings and the clock and the Highway don’t care.  You do, and that makes all the difference in this world.

Love to all.

 

(If you’ve missed the link for the free copy of the book, click here.  *insert shameless self promotion here* 🙂  Thanks to all who have already gotten it.  It’s free until December 4th.  After that, it will be $1.99 and all proceeds will go to a program for children’s literacy.)

IMG_5997

This right here–MAJOR happy dance.  Oh, and the author whose name I share a line with–she’s my Fairy Godmother.  HOW PRECIOUS IS THAT?  ❤

The Struggle Bus is Real

The Fair is in town.

I do not think you can fully fathom the level of excitement that exists here at our abode when the Fair is coming to town.  My crew loves them some fair time.

When the littles had it on their radar, we began Fair Day countdown.  We decided to go today with Mess Cat, Leroy, and Shaker, so the children could play together, maybe ride some rides, and we could visit together and dream big as we walked through really expensive RV’s on display.  Oh, and you know, cows.

It takes us a little while to get out the door.  The Fella likes to say, here we go, “like a herd of turtles.”  Some days it’s like that.  Today came close to being exactly that.  But we did get out the door and into the GoMobile with snacks, headache remedies, wipes (for little hands), and other essentials tucked away in my bag.  I wasn’t going to tote a backpack this year.  I had this.  (Note to self:  Take a backpack next year–there’s all those things folks are handing out that the littles love and then you are left carrying them in your hands.  Ahem.  Backpacks are cool.)

Our first roadblock on this journey was literally a blocked road.  We got down to where we usually cross over the railroad tracks to head south, and there were two trains, traveling in opposite directions, facing each other, ON THE SAME TRACK.  That was a tore up mess right there.  I had no idea how they were going to fix that, but I knew we didn’t want to wait around and find out.  The Fella turned around and tried to use the GPS to redirect us, but it became quite clear that “she” was going to send us back to the railroad tracks not much further south of where we’d been-which still would have been a problem.

He turned around and found a road to cross over just a little north of where the trains sat.  Whew.  Okay.  Moving along.  We arrived in town, so close to the Fairgrounds on the outskirts of town when we saw another line of backed up traffic.  Are you kidding me?

It was the parade.

The Fair parade.

The irony that the parade for the Fair was making us late getting to the Fair was not lost on me.  It wasn’t lost on our oldest Aub either.  From her seat in the very back, I heard her comment, “We are on the struggle bus for real, people.”

You got that right.  It was one of those times when you started to question if we were really supposed to be going at all today.

Not to be outdone or to give up very easily, the Fella talked with his GPS again and figured out the back way to the Fairgrounds.  We were on our way and about to pull in where we needed to park to meet my sister when we realized the Georgia State Patrol folks sitting there were not letting anyone turn left to go in at that gate.

And no traffic in sight from either direction.

Sigh.

Why was there no traffic?  Because we were at the other end of that parade…..they were about to block the road off completely.  So the Fella went down as quickly as he legally could, trying to find a place to make a u-turn.

Again from the backseat, my droll girl:  “We are officially on the deluxe version of the struggle bus now, y’all.”

Yep.  Sounds about right.

But still.  The u-turn worked.  Just in time.

We found a pretty decent parking spot.  And we made our way in and met Mess Cat and family at the RV’s.  Each one we looked at the littles wanted us to buy.  My sister told her son what the man who worked for the RV folks told us, “Imma need you to sign some paperwork.”  Yeah.  And get a job.  Shaker just laughed.  Precious.

Coming home this afternoon as the fall shadows began to lengthen on this cool day, reminding of us the beauty of this season, I thought over our time together as a family.  And two thoughts came to mind.

First, sometimes roadblocks are just that.  They aren’t always signs we should turn around and go back home.  Sometimes they are just roadblocks.  As we say around the house every now and again, “Sometimes it just be’s like that.”  Nothing more, nothing less.  Just keep on pressing through.  It’s a pain in the neck and frustrating as all get out, but most of the time, the end result is worth it.

The other thing is about being with family.  If I have to ride the struggle bus from time to time or, you know, several times a day, I am glad I have this assembly of “peoples” and personalities to ride on down the road with.  Today we laughed so hard about the roadblocks, and when I used the “j” word I really should not have said, my crew lovingly reminded me that maybe my attitude could be a little better.  Ahem.  (I was mad and I thought those directing traffic were being jerks not to let us turn in.  I know, a little extreme.  But considering it was the third time we’d been waylaid…..I did apologize to my crew though.)  That’s what we have each other for–to love us through the hard times, the crazy times, and the good times, and to remind us of who our best selves are and empower us to be just that–our best selves.

Tonight I’m thankful for a great day, right down to my *surprise* sunburned cheeks and wind-chapped lips.  It was a wonderful time of being together–of smiles, of laughter, and of teasing that brought on even more precious laughter.

And if I had to ride the struggle bus to get there, well, it was all the more worth it.  I love the Fair, and I love my people.  A good day all around.

 

Wishing you all good company on your struggle bus rides.

Love to all.

 

What Do I Do Now?

Yesterday in the midst of the joy of family and all the good stuff, I got some bad news.

My friend, whom I have had the privilege to walk with for a couple of years, let go of eight months of sobriety and all that hard work.  He gave it up to return to his life on the streets.  And drinking.

My heart is breaking.  Again.

It was February of last year that my friend Mac* turned himself in for probation violation.  He was on probation for arrests for things like public drunkenness and loitering.  Nothing violent, all charges related to his alcoholism or his state of homelessness.  He was tired of it all, so he found a cop he knew and turned himself in.  He detoxed at the jail.  It was a few days later that I saw his picture on the LEC website and started writing him.  We had been building a relationship over the past year or so, off and on, when he would come to the Sunday night suppers.  Even drunk his mind worked well.  Even sober his legs did not.  He is witty and expresses himself through the written word very well.  But above all else he is an artist.

Mac's butterfly.  We were so hoping for his own transformation, leaving behind his old life.

Mac’s butterfly. We were so hoping for his own transformation, leaving behind his old life for a new beautiful, healthy one.

He especially loves tribal art.  He also does pencil drawings that have taken my breath away.  When he came for my oldest’s graduation in May, he had a beautiful cane that he had carved and inked and put a glass eye in at the top.  I asked him where he got the wood, and he replied, “The woods.”  And he laughed.  Well of course.  It was gorgeous.  He has a gift.

I have celebrated his successes.  I have been with him in court, speaking on his behalf, about the good in him, and the future I could see.  Another friend and I drove him to the treatment center that accepted him as a patient.  When we arrived, he felt so out of his element.  He pointed to a bench in some azaleas and said, “Well, there’s a spot for me.”  When we got to the door and knocked (we had arrived after hours), a sweet lady came to the door and said, “You must be Mac.  We been waitin’ on you.”  He replied, “I’ve been waiting on y’all all my life.”

When a friend and I visited him for Family Day eight weeks later, it was obvious he had made friends and was well-liked and respected.   He done good, as we would say growing up.  The next day he moved to a transitional program in another town, about three hours from here.  He hit the ground running.  He went to the scheduled meetings, he made friends, and he took on the job of cleaning the main office and taking care of the roses.  He was so proud of those roses.

He had some bumps in the road.  He had times that dealing with authority was a little hard for him.  He came home last November and decided he just couldn’t go back.  The power of the alcohol was stronger than his desire to get better and have a home.  He spent a week on the streets, and I spent a week vacillating between worry and anger.  The following Sunday he showed up at the supper at the day shelter and said, “Please take me back.”  The people in charge at his place up north had said he could come back.  However he had to detox before he got there.  Mac spent another ten days doing just that, and then we found someone to drive him back.  He was back on the right track.

I was so hopeful.

He came back again in May for graduation.  He looked better and seemed happier than I had ever seen him.  He seemed…..not as restless.  I told him I thought he was in a good place.  He agreed.  When we said goodbye after that Sunday lunch, that was the last time I saw him.  I hugged him bye and told him, as I always did, “Love you brother.”

He had a court date yesterday.  Apparently he was picked up during that week in November for some kind of loitering or other similar charge.  They would not accept that he was living out of town and back in a program.  They insisted he show up.  (Note to self–Write a letter to the court about how well that all turned out.  Angry letter.)  I planned to go and pick him up on Monday from his home up there, but he told me last week that he’d already gotten a bus ticket.  After talking with my friend who works with a ministry for the homeless about how to process this, I praised him for taking care of his business himself.  I was a little sad though because I had looked forward to visiting on the ride back.

We planned to have supper on Monday night to celebrate his birthday later this month.  It never happened.  Late in the day he cancelled, apologizing that he’d already told his friend from AA that he was staying with that he’d go to a celebration at the fellowship hall.  He didn’t want me to be upset.  I wasn’t, but I didn’t know when else I’d get to see him.  He promised me he’d have his Mama drive him down to see us on Tuesday.

He texted yesterday morning that they had no record of his required court appearance at the courthouse.  I heard nothing else until yesterday evening when I asked him if he was okay.  Long story short, he decided he’s not returning to the transitional program and his roses and his disability hearing he worked so hard to make happen–that other people worked so hard to make happen.  He was drunk with his AA friend he’d been staying with.

And so it goes.

I should have known.  And maybe I did.  I was very worried last week when he planned the trip for himself.  Back in May he was so careful not to be by himself.  This time he kept me in the dark about so many of his plans.  I’m not sure when or if he was by himself and what exactly happened.  But I should have been more prepared.  This is not my first rodeo with an alcoholic.  In my “previous life,” I was married to one, and I learned then that trust is not something to give easily to someone with this disease.  Yeah, I’m a codependent from way back.

Today I was lucky enough to enjoy impromptu fun with a dear friend and her toomuchfun children.  What a crew we had in the back of the van.  Big time fun with allergy shots en masse, a lunch together at a new restaurant for us (always nice to add a new “food allergy safe” one to our list), and all kinds of pre-teen drama going on in the soft play at the fun center.  We laughed so hard, sharing stories and more stories.  I thought about Mama’s rainbow last night, and I refused to let Mac’s choices steal the joy of the day.  If I had to mope, I was “saving it for the plane,” as my friend Baddest Mother Ever was once advised.  A joy and laughter-filled day.  I’d do it again if asked.

When I got home, I called Jay, the man in charge of the transitional program, to see if he knew anything.  Yes, someone drove Mac up to get his things and then he left.  “Tara,” said this compassionate man whom I’ve been talking with for about a year, “you do what you want, but I really think you need to let him go.  He’s going back to what is familiar and you can’t change that.  I’ve been doing this a long time and we can’t understand this choice, but we can let him go and pray he finds the peace he’s looking for.”  Good advice I guess.  But easier said than done.  I guess I have to switch off the “care” valve.  I don’t know how to do that.  Instead I will worry and wonder and crane my neck looking for glimpses of him as we drive through downtown.  I will grieve.  Again.

I am thankful for another sweet friend who shared her story of addiction with me late last night.  She laid it out there for me–this was his choice, and it has nothing to do with me.  He has to accept responsibility for his actions.  It means so much that she would share her story, and that she absolved me from my guilt over this.  Why don’t I feel better?

Tonight I am thankful for a joy-filled day that I didn’t let Mac’s choices steal.  I give thanks for friends who listen and care and for a friend who loves and trusts enough to share her story so it could help me understand a little better, so I could maybe gain a little perspective.  That is true courage.  But I am also angry.  Angry that alcoholism has taken another person I care about.  This isn’t just being mad at a friend who made a choice I don’t agree with, this is someone’s life at stake.  He has nearly died out there before.  I’m angry with the court system that couldn’t leave well enough alone, accept documentation that he was in a legitimate program and write off the minor infraction in deference to what was best for him.  I’m angry with the people in the town where he was–that no one reached out and said let me be a friend to someone who could use one.  He so needed to start building a life with people there, making friends and becoming vested in that community, building a new life.  I’m angry and sad that it’s likely I may never see him or hear his laugh or put up with his teasing me again.  And I’m angry with myself.  That I let myself get to this place again, despite all that my past experiences have taught me.  That I can’t let go of the idea that maybe I wasn’t or didn’t do enough.  If we are God’s plan for helping others, then what on earth just happened here?

As all these thoughts march through my brain tonight when I lay my head on my pillow, I hope I will also hear Mama’s voice:  “It’s okay to feel angry.  Now you just have to be careful what you do with that.”  And that’s what it boils down to, isn’t it?  Okay, now what?  What do I do now?  How do I let go?

 

*not his real name