Big heavy sigh.
I feel like I do that a lot these days. 'Tis the season.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:Hmmm...what would we do without faith and the wisdom of our religion? Though hard times are not easy, they are predictable. Without the rain, there is no rainbow, so the saying goes. Some hard times are just more predictable than others.
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
We are getting back to a more predictable life this week. My husband is back at work. The laundry is getting done, slowly. The garden is almost planted. I washed my iPhone in the washing machine yesterday. Yeah, bummer. I was being efficient when I took my bathrobe off to shower, I just piled in the laundry basket, and efficiently washed it right away, without realizing I had dropped my phone in the pocket.
So, it will be a quiet couple of days until it's replaced..."a time to keep silence; and a time to speak."
Not so quiet that I can't blog, however.
I have been thinking a lot about bereavement and the place it has in our culture. Doug and I talked a lot about how some people we know responded to the death of his father and how others just plain didn't seem to notice.
My husband said that many years ago, an older friend commented that you never forget who supported you when a parent died. At the time Doug didn't fully appreciate the statement, but he certainly does now. You notice those kinds of things...who sent a card or a e-note of sympathy, who visited at the funeral home, attended the Mass. It's not a judgment, but you notice. It's just human to notice, I think. We had a few really good friends who supported us with their presence but those who did not were truly missed. Again...not a judgment, just the truth. I say this because these things are learning experiences. I will never again halfheartedly hear about the death of the loved one of a friend. I hope that I never have, but I hope in the future I can always fully support those who I call friends in their time of need.
Taylor (my son's fiance) was with us throughout the entire burial process and it was good for her and for us. Her parents came to the funeral home and I thanked them for sweet rolls they had sent for breakfast. She laughed that she doesn't bake, but she can buy rolls. I told her that several friends had said "Is there anything I can do?" but I'm not the kind of person to say "yeah, could you bake a cake?" or "dinner tonight would be great." Some things you just do, without knowing whether they are truly needed. Like sending Bereavement Rolls, as I dubbed them jokingly. Doug's mom received a cake, I believe, and her brother-in-law prepared dinner for after the calling hours, but I'm not even sure she received any true-blue casseroles, the hallmark of a death in the family. What has happened to our culture that we are so busy so as to not acknowledge the need of our neighbor?
Anyway...just food for thought, no pun intended. If you ever doubt whether or not a gesture will be appreciated, always err on the side of overdone rather than undone.
"a time to mourn, and a time to dance"
We are planning a big party this weekend...an engagement party. I think Doug felt so badly for Joshua and Taylor when they announced their engagement and his dad died the next morning, he promised an engagement party. I didn't think it would fall so swiftly on the heals of the funeral, but he allowed it and so it is.
The wedding is going to be planned for June in two years, so we have a lot of time to plan, and have fun with it...and so the fun begins.
I mentioned that the garden is nearly planted, finally. A dear friend gave us a hosta named "Paul's Glory" to remember Doug's dad Paul, and our neighbor gave us a hosta named "Big Daddy" -- such great friends. I created a small garden in the side yard with the hostas; and some flowers, some Pansies because their childhood dog was Pansy; a bird feeder, because he loved the birds; and a wind chime, which he also loved.
I also planted a dozen or so new perennials and lots of flowers for Mary ~~ Marigolds of several varieties, petunias, impatiens, thyme and rosemary, lavender and forget-me-nots. It's so nice to plant flowers that are not only beautiful, but have stories behind them.
Now, if I could only keep the rabbits from eating all the flower tops!
Goodnight now, friends. I'll see you on the morrow.