I tried to write a normal blog today and it didn't work. I'll tell you why. And lots of you are going to be nodding your heads, "Yes. I have walked that road."
Here's the deal - someone I love very much is in a slow, steady decline. So that fills up my head and my heart.
I learned a long time ago that the big steps don't wait for anybody. If you want to be around for the mysterious, holy transition that comes during the last several miles of someone's human race, you make yourself available. You become available as often as you can. You settle in someplace between the runner and the finish line and you make sure they can see your face, touch your hands, hear your voice . . .
What do you pray for someone who wants to be upset? Who wants to be angry? Who struggles against this natural part of life?
I don't know a magic answer for that. I pray one word right now - "Love."
It's the one word that keeps me grounded. A counselor once gave me that advice - "When you don't know how to help somebody, when you can't give them exactly what they need, just stand back and send love their way. You can't control anybody but yourself, so you can't control their struggle. But you can send them your love, even if you do that silently."
So that's what I do.
I lean in close and say the words. Then I step back and pray the words. Tomorrow I'll lean in close again. Then I'll step back . . . and that's how it will go. Back and forth, back and forth.
This song came to me during the holidays this past year, but I find it true right now, in the middle of July . . . "Empty and full, both true."
There is an otherworldliness about the big transition. Rightly so.
Once my paternal grandmother told me that she could see her own mother out on the porch, sweeping. I saw nothing there. But I feel almost certain that as she moved through her big transition, the great loves of her life were drawing closer and closer to her . . . just as she was drawing closer to them. This is a holy thing.
I think I may be right there on the edge of understanding that there can be beauty in all of this if I can stand to pay attention close enough.
Our lives and the lives of our loved ones barely brush past each other. You can see it when you look at the big picture. All of the time is precious. Even the time spent like this - waiting. Even the years when nothing goes right and everyone leaves angry.
Words from a song I hope to record soon:
"You ought to know the depth of the love here -
transcending our faults, absolving our fears.
I'd say goodbye, but I don't really want to.
Our lives have touched only for a minute or two.
The family tree seems strange to me
My prayer is one word - "Love."
Peace & Goodness,