Edit- I have now officially kicked into college prep overdrive. I have lists upon lists of things each of the kids needs, coordinating schedules for moving back, trying to get doctors and dentists and such worked in before they leave. So much of my time and energy is tied up in preparation, that I am afraid I am going to start missing real time with them before they go. So, I think I will allot a certain time of the day just to look over the lists and schedules, but the rest of the time I really want to be present with them while I can.
Add- When the girls came to live with us after the death of their very young mother, they each mentioned several times that someone in their family had told them, “the first star you see each night is your mother looking down on you.” It seemed to be meaningful and helpful to their little 7 and 8 year old hearts. One night I just happened to notice that the world was awash in that sweet light just before the stars start to shine and I suggested we go to the back yard and watch for the first star. After that first night, I don’t remember anyone saying, “hey, let’s do this every night!”, but somehow during those late summer and early fall nights we just kept showing up. The girls could be off in various neighbor’s yards or riding their bikes, I could be working in the garden or sitting on a friend’s porch or inside cleaning up from dinner, and each of us would feel the pull of the moon and head straight for the back yard, somehow not surprised to see each other there when we got there. We would sit low in the lawn chairs, head tilted all the way back, and someone (usually Shameka) would break the silence- “There it is…” and we would all smile and each of us think about Geraldine. The habit fell off slowly after school started and while the girls often mention that as a really good memory for them, we have never re-visited the tradition. Over the past week I’ve started enjoying a short sit in the back after I get everything watered. When the stars popped out tonight, I thought fondly of Geraldine, who gave me the greatest gift of my life, and I made a pledge to sit out there more often and think, about Geraldine and about everything else big and tender on my heart.
Appreciate- My friend Paul has been faithfully leading the music at my church for over 18 years. He finds fresh new songs that have woven their way into our church traditions. He does a lot of special music, he sang at most of our weddings, and I’ve spent more time than I want anyone to know trying to decide what I would want him to sing at my funeral. Today he began a 4 month sabbatical. We will miss him terribly, but I am so proud of him for doing it, modeling to everyone in the church that it is a good and healthy thing to step away for a while. I appreciate his presence in my life- at work or at rest.