February’s Hopes

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This has been a dark month in so many ways. It’s cold. Tax season is starting to gather momentum and Steve and I are hard at work, operating with approximately one single brain between us. Unfortunately, almost all of our clients (99%) have agreed to return for another year of engaging our services. Crap. I’m sorry, God, I know I should be (am!) grateful for clients who pay us for our work, who appreciate our help. But CRAP.

And yet there have been flashes of light. Some tiny, some larger.

* A woman I’ve never met – we both participate in an email book club run by Beth P – sent me a book called “Rediscover Jesus” (by Matthew Kelly) after I wrote an email to the group, talking about wanting to get to know God anew, needing to understand who Jesus is, exactly. I started reading it last month and it’s helping.

* I’m also reading this book called “Permission to Mourn” by Tom Zuba. He has some incredibly radical ideas – about death, about life, about the afterlife – that are hard to process. I don’t know that I can agree with everything he writes. But there is a beckoning – he offers a different approach to peace that has a hint of truth to it.

* With Steve as my co-pilot, I helped rescue two dogs headed for certain death at a major intersection near our house. That Steve and I were there, at that moment, was a complete fluke. We were supposed to have come home a different way. You could call it a God-thing. I certainly do. It was good for my heart…it was like a whisper in my ear that said, “See? You can still do this. It’s still important for you to be here.”

* A birthday party for a wonderful woman – a cheerful, crazy, inveterate volunteer just like me and so many others – was a terrific pick-me-up, a pick-us-all-up. As I’ve said before, we are not the only ones who are sad, who miss Mark all the time.

* Lunch with long-time and dear friends. Laughter.

* Finding yet another book – “When Answers Aren’t Enough” – through an interesting series of events. The author, Matt Rogers, reminds me that God did not kill Mark. God is GOOD. God is LOVE. This place we live in…it’s not heaven. Bad stuff happens here. God can and will take the bad and somehow, in some way, make good out of it. We know this. We’ve seen it happen and it’s still happening. One of Matt’s last sentences in the book reads – no kidding – “time is precious.”

* Our neighborhood civic association has contacted us. Would we be okay with them holding a “Bike Rodeo” in Mark’s memory? Of course. Oh God. Where is my Kleenex?

* A long-held but suppressed idea resurfaces: could I possibly, after tax season is over, and while Steve is off at his annual Bluegrass festival with his brother, go away…someplace warm…by myself? Years ago, I read Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “Gift from the Sea” and was entranced. She left 5 children and her husband, in the 1950’s, to go live by herself in a seaside cottage on Captiva Island, for a whole month. Wow.

Sun. Warmth. Air. Space and time to write.

Maybe.

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