Sad Souls

“A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ” – from Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck, 1961

I wonder what Steinbeck would think today about all the sad souls hidden away in their homes, locked away from others in nursing homes, out of work because their job just wasn’t deemed as important as Hollywood. Sad souls living in fear.


If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad face and wear a smile,’ – Job 9:27

A fellow weeper

December 8, 2017

“…Nothing tends more to relieve that overwhelming sense of wretchedness, with which the heart of the sufferer is sometimes oppressed, than a generous pity for a fellow weeper!”

“Your long and intimate letter gave me great pleasure. There is a sympathy in the feeling of people who have been recently afflicted, which cannot be expected to be found in others; a mutual chord, which, touched, vibrates with a kindred sound. We have not suffered exactly alike. But we have suffered; and that circumstance has made us love each other better than we did before.” – The Widow Directed to the Widow’s God by John Angell James, 1841

There truly is sympathy in people who have been recently afflicted. I have found this to be so true in recent months. I have connected with other widows who are suffering as I am. I have also connected with women who have lost a sister or a child. I never thought I’d have a need for a “group”. But, I went at the urging of my son. And I am so glad I found griefshare. I thank God for these fellow weepers.

You continue on…

“It started to make sense to her now, how people that undergo terrible loss or tragedy manage to keep living. She never really understood it before, but the thing was the body will shock you, so that maybe you don’t believe it all at once. And then, if you keep moving, a day goes by, and another. And since the worst thing you ever imagined actually came true, that becomes your reality, something else takes the place in your mind, and you continue on.” – from The Smart One by Jenifer Close

I don’t know if it’s exactly that you don’t believe it all at once. It’s more like you can’t take in the finality of it all at once. It takes a while for death to become a day-to-day reality. Sometimes it will just hit you: this is how it is going to be from now on. And you go on, living that new reality as best you can.

I think about that phrase, “the worst thing you ever imagined actually came true”. I think sometimes it makes me a little reckless – as if, what have I got to lose? I have to be careful to remember I still have children and grandchildren who need me.

Magic or Meaning?

tree

 

Last year was hard. This year seems harder. “Celebrating” without extended family isn’t  easy. Some are gone, some just don’t come around. I read articles that say this:

“Maybe in that year, or in a string of years, it feels like Christmas just doesn’t work for you. Maybe while everyone else is enjoying the season and dancing to jingle bells it all rings hollow to you. ”  -from When Christmas Loses Its Cheer 

or this:

“What makes it the most wonderful time of the year is also what makes it the most brutal time of the year. My own family has not been immune to this phenomenon.” from Christmas Is For Those Who Hate It Most  

I read these articles and find a glimpse of hope. My mind and heart begin to connect a bit more. All I know but have set aside in sorrow comes back to me.

“I’m not going to put it up anymore,” Mom told me as she sent me home with her two-foot tree after Christmas in 2017. We hadn’t put up a tree since we moved to Birmingham, so I thought it would be perfect. I didn’t realize how her words rang so true; less than two months later she was gone. She wouldn’t ever put up a Christmas tree again.

Today I thought, ‘What would mom do?’ So, I climbed up to the attic and got the little tree. And the wreath. And my decorating is done. I’ve made cookies and wrapped presents for a little girl I may never meet and mailed  a few gifts to my kids. Now I have my tree and wreath. But I have so much more. I just need to be reminded of it every now and then.

wreath

 

 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. – Luke 2:10-11

Don’t Cry

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Don’t cry over spilled blackberry jam
You can always have honey
Don’t cry when you get to the edge of the cliff
But rejoice in the profound beauty below
Don’t cry when you hear her voice on the answering machine
She was happy when she left that message
Don’t cry about the clouds
For they are full of mystery
Constantly shifting
Forming shapes, changing colors
Bringing a sweet rain
Or a fantastic lightening
Don’t cry when the needle approaches
What it contains is for your good
It will put you to sleep
Until it’s all over
So, don’t cry
Let it rain over you
You can always have apple butter
Don’t cry

August-2013

Loss

Everyone at Rizzoli & Isles is devastated by the news of the passing of Lee Thompson Young. We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man. He was truly a member of our family. Lee will be cherished and remembered by all who knew and loved him, both on- and off-screen, for his positive energy, infectious smile and soulful grace. We send our deepest condolences and thoughts to his family, to his friends and, most especially, to his beloved mother.

As I read last night of the death of Lee Thompson Young, I was saddened. It’s not like I knew him or anything. I only knew him as two characters he played: Jett Jackson and Detective Barry Frost. Yet, memories of watching his Jett Jackson show with my youngest daughter flooded over me.

I don’t know anything about his personal life. This got me thinking, how much do I know about anyone’s personal life? The kid who seems like nothing but a trouble maker – what does he have to deal with day in and day out? The girl covering herself with tattoos – what is she trying to cover up? The cashier at Publix who is always friendly – does she have an easy life? Do any of these know the LORD?

My writer friend/acquaintance, Karen Spears Zacharias, had this to say this morning.:

They walk among us, the despairing do.

Some are quiet, unassuming, gentle souls.

Others are the life of the party, seemingly joyful, radiant even.

Yet, somewhere, just beyond the place where hope whispers their name, there is a darkness, unrecognizable.

Until, too often, it’s too late.

They walk among us, the despairing do.

Laughing, loving, and longing for more of God

and less of the demons that know them by name, too.

My prayer today is that I would we more aware of those around me. That God would teach me more about being a servant.

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