Another one from Marty. She wrote this in January of 2003 after one of our faux daughters, Elizabeth married the semi-acceptable John (actually he's a good guy). The Right Reverend Jimmie from First Presbyterian always found a way into Marty's psyche. The whole thing is particularly poignant given our journey over the last few years and how faithful and loving our children have been.
Yesterday at the wedding -- after all was said and done -- bride and groom and Mom and Dads have exited, our minister has given the benediction and has invited the guests to join the couple at the reception. He then said, "Earlier today the oldest member of this congregation died, and then tonight we celebrate this beautiful marriage of a young couple. There is a beginning and an ending, and if you look carefully you will see the truth of what this is all about .... and that is ... it is about choosing love. That in addition to all the joy, it is also about choosing the pain that comes from love instead of the pain that comes from not loving. Even in the middle of all the joy, there is not a choice that does not involve pain -- only the choices between a way that brings pain with love, or the way that just brings pain. The lesson in it all is about choosing to love."
Well, I felt like I had been hit between the eyes. How could this be offered as just a little "tag on" line -- it should have been the top bill!! -- I have had this same lesson presented to me in multiple formats in the past couple of weeks. When life seems to hit me with repeated patterns in my awareness -- I know it means I'm supposed to be getting or understanding something in a new way. I'm not totally sure I know what that is all about right now -- I'm not really working on trying to figure it out, I'm just more aware something new is unfolding, an awareness, an understanding, maybe a way of being -- and I'm letting that happen as is does.
My dad is fishing in Mexico for 7 days, (this IS related) my Mom is with sitters for the week. Of course, I feel I should be there - but I can't be. Tonight I thought, "I really need to call her." But I really, really didn't want to -- I often feel so lousy after I talk to her -- it is just so sad. Well, I called, we talked and she was about like usual -- knew who I was, but thought Matt was married when I mentioned the wedding -- wasn't sure where Dad was, but said he was on his way home. It just breaks my heart. Anyway, then I talked to the sitter -- (a long time employee of our family -- a very simple woman who is quite devoted to my parents -- thank-you God!) She said my Mom had gotten up very early yesterday and had fallen backwards. The sitter was still asleep when it happened. She didn't know what happened, and mom couldn't tell her anything more than that she fell backwards. She said mom was pretty banged up -- some scrapes on one leg and one arm, and some bruising getting started, a bad bump on the head. She said she was very, very sore and stiff. Well, I hung up thinking, "Damn! That's why I didn't want to call. I can do nothing, and now I end up feeling worse!" I felt myself begin to slide into that a little, and then I thought about the wedding, ... and I thought, "Choose the pain that comes from loving -- there are no choices that don't have some pain, choose love."Well, it didn't totally fix it -- didn't totally stop some tears -- but I understood it a little differently, and that was comforting. And I was able to feel glad that maybe the sitter felt more supported by my call (I really think she did -- I'm sure I'm the only family member that even knows about this incident at this point) and I was able to imagine that maybe my Mom felt a little bit of pleasure at the familiarity of a phone conversation with someone she knows she loves and someone she knows loves her. And, maybe that's enough for tonight.