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New Year's Eve, and I was out running a few errands. Actually, I had just left my house and switched the radio from sports news (Rob had driven last) to music. Chris Rice was singing "Untitled Hymn." It was only a matter of seconds until tears were streaming down my face.
I don't know if it was the memories of my friend David that it brought to mind - it's been a long year of grieving a deep loss that I still haven't found words for. I don't know if it's some middle-age thing I've got going on. I don't know if it's the turning of a calendar page and all that it represents. Maybe it's just the need to crawl up in the lap of Jesus and cry for a while. But there I was, driving up Depot Road, singing about every third word, sniffling, and wiping my eyes...
I've always loved this song. No matter what kind of space I'm in when I hear it, I am always comforted.
So I ran into friends at the mall, walked around for a while, scarfed down some pretzels, and picked up a few things. Then on the ride home I was hit with another song - which I'll save for another post.
2011 finds me wandering into the new year with more questions than answers. However, there is a comfort in the knowledge that the Jesus and his grace that has carried me this far, will certainly sustain me and carry me on.
I'm not sure if I have a "theology" about this or not. In fact, Rob and I discussed it briefly the other night in reference to the pigeon that joined the kickoff team for the Philadelphia Eagles a couple of weeks ago. One of the players claimed that the pigeon was the spirit of a former teammate who had died during the offseason.
I'm not willing to go so far as to claim that such sightings are the spirit of someone, but I sure as heck have been comforted by animals from time to time, that represent in one way or another someone to me who used to be with us. So what do I believe? Who knows and who really cares? The point is, it happens and we are comforted.
This morning, Austin and I were working on his homework in the living room. I looked up just in time to see the brightest red cardinal land on a tree branch outside the window. I have always associated redbirds with my mom. Whether she liked them as much as I remember her liking them is probably irrelevant... it's just part of her in my memory. Anyway, this redbird shows up outside and I immediately think of Mother. I point it out to Austin. "Mom, it's gorgeous!"
I smile and think how much she would have enjoyed him.
As if on cue, Austin climbs up on the couch that backs up to the window and proudly shows his newly acquired soccer medal to the cardinal. I don't know why, maybe it's just a six-year-old thing; but I promise the bird turned and looked at him. Tears well up in my eyes as he has his own make-believe conversation with the bird. He has no idea what I'm thinking...
The leaves are changing. The Sox are in the playoffs. Soccer and cross country are well underway. Kindergarten is fun and 8th grade is smooth sailing (so far!). And the Patriots are trying to figure things out. Welcome to October!
I posted on FaceBook that October is paradoxical. At least it is for me. There are a lot of sad anniversaries for me in this month, yet so many fun things happen during this time. The cool, crisp autumn air makes everything seem so alive, yet it is quick to remind us of the upcoming winter months that lie ahead. The Sox playoff run brings hope of another World Series, yet... well, who knows?
I'm digging in to try and publish a collection of devotionals that I've written. Right now, I'm just trying to figure out the best way to do that. I've promised Austin that we'll decorate for Halloween tomorrow while Dad is at the Patriot's game. And, as always, the house needs cleaning! So we're in for a busy weekend, even though the games all got rained out for today.
The moment of truth will be when the school bus comes. I don't know if he will get on with a smile and a wave; or if he will stop, cling, and I'll have to take him to school and peel him off at the door. I'm really praying for the first option. I want a peaceful parting.