Sundays, as I've said before, are hard days. I used to spend at least part of each Sunday with my mother (in addition to many other days, but always Sundays). About this time of day, late afternoon, I would be with her, bringing her her favorite ice cream or, when she was able, taking her out to get a dish of plain vanilla. And so when the slant of light takes a certain turn, I feel a twist in my soul and a wave of what is no longer acute sorrow, but a gripping of my chest and a clenching of my heart, sweeps over me.
It's a gorgeous day here, finally. With a bright blue sky and a slight breeze. I'm working on an article about a favorite saint--Hildegard of Bingen--and I've talked to friends. Despite some frustrations that loom for next week, things are okay for now.
And yet...and still...all of a sudden, the wave rises and I feel that melange of loss, anxiety, and emptiness that is so much a part of my griefwalking. It is as if the sun suddenly dims and I wonder, will this ever end? Will I ever feel "normal" again? And what is "normal" now anyway?
It is precisely because Sundays are hard days that I chose them to post my gratitudes. By making myself see what is good and blessed, to seek out five things that remind me God has not forgotten me, I get through the hardest part of the hardest day of the week.
So this week I am grateful for:
1. Giving away some things I didn't use to someone who will use and appreciate them.
2. Sunshine and warm enough weather to wear a sleeveless top. (Everyone who has been sweltering in the heat, trust me, it's been frigid here in Oregon and this is something to be grateful for.)
3. Work. When a free-lancer has work, it's always cause for gratitude.
4. Conversation with a good friend who reminded me that some of the decisions I made in the past and now sorely regret, I made with honest intent and with all the information I had available at the time.
5. A weed in a pot that has such lovely flowers I'm pretending that it is a flower and letting it stay.
Finally, one more thing to be grateful for. Now and then I get those forwarded e-mails that tell you to send to 10 people because God has a blessing blah blah. I got one today and, for whatever reason, the idea that God might just have a blessing waiting for me was a message that I needed to hear. God does sometimes speak in mysterious ways and I'll just take that e-mail as a message.