Wednesday, August 20, 2008

a special time

We are back home, having spent the weekend and a couple more days in Maryland and at the Jersey shore. In Maryland we celebrated granddaughter Tessa's 2nd birthday and then traveled to Eastern Shore of Maryland to the land where the house was located where we lost Maggie and Kennedy. There many people gathered and we sang Amazing Grace, then we tossed flowers into the Miles River and planted a tree in their memories. It was a lovely, almost silent gathering but one that honored them.

Then we traveled to the beach and the immediate family gathered with a few friends and spent the day sitting together closely on the beach. Here there were more memories shared, another quiet remembrance.

That evening a close family friend, (all close friends are family aren't they?)made a Thanksgiving Dinner at her home for all of us, saying comfort food was what needed and she right. At this dinner my nephew Michael prayed a prayer that warmed our hearts, thank you Michael. My daughter Courtney shared a writing she had done, and I am going to share it here with you in hopes that it may help you in one way or another.

From Courtney:

Hi All,my dear family chock full of great people, people I love so much,

This morning, I spent time doing devotions, thinking, praying, reflecting, and I just thought it might be nice have an email chain of sharing.

Sharing how this past year has affected us, how losing Kennedy and Maggie and Christine has affected us, things we've learned, things we've yet to sort out, memories, thoughts, and so on.

Thinking of precious Joseph Matthew makes me think of celebration. We have a new life in our family worth celebrating and there's a joy there in that Bonaventura household that holds contentment, as they experience a miracle. I remember that feeling when Annabelle was born - there was an awe in this house and a love that I'd never known before. Becoming a parent has grown in me a love, a boundless love that pours out, that bubbles up, that overflows when she smiles at me standing in her exersaucer at this very moment. I fell in love with her and I fell in Adam all over again. As Uncle Matt has said in his email, "We are here but for the moment and are entitled to nothing, not even our next breath. We should enjoy all we are given for the time we are given it. It is enough." Uncle Matt, your thoughts brought to mind the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible, which expresses the same thought, the same truth. We are here for a short time, and are not entitled to our next breath, and so with this day, I want to love all of you as much as I can.

I want to celebrate a brave family, a family that has loved very much this year through pain. I want to celebrate Kennedy and Maggie and Christine's lives with memories, joy, and love.

Recently, Meg, Jeff, and I (and the kids of course) were in the car, and I said that when I go, I want you to get together and do something fun - laugh, and just love each other like crazy. I know Ken and Mags would want that too.

There's still that pit inside me, there's tears that come to my eyes so fast (at this moment), and there's a hurt that's never gonna go away.

So I've learned this year to hold hands with sorrow and hope at the same time. While there is an undeniable sadness, I cannot deny the hope I know exists.

I've made an effort to do as Uncle Matt suggested in another email, to call up old friends and to embrace each other, whether its running into someone in the supermarket and taking the time to chat, or picking up the phone to call a friend even though I know I might have to get off because of Annabelle. I've learned to embrace those I meet in passing, like I wished I had the chance to do with Christine. I learned to go easier on people, while driving, when someone cuts in line in front of me, when a sales associate is rude, because I know that I don't know the day they've had or the pain in their lives.

I've learned to smile like Maggie smiled for the camera - big and wide and beautiful. She made funny faces, big smiles, wore hats, I know you know what I mean. The pictures of Maggie are full of life. That smile ran deep. So I try to smile bigger too.

I've learned to embrace the environment like Ken. I thought I did before and I did, but man, I think of Ken all day long with every yobaby yogurt container that gets recycled. It sounds trite, but truly, "be the change you want to see," whether, its in nature, or its in a relationship. Go for a hike. Sit on a rock on the lake (things i've tried). In the stillness, I've tried to become a better person for the company I encounter. Be the change you want to see, and I'd add, I've opened myself to the change God wants to do in me.

I've learned to choose joy. I love the story about Ken waking up and telling his roommate that its a great day to be alive. I can't tell you how many times I've been given that thought upon waking, and chose to go with it. And when crap creeps its way into the day, I've learned "it doesn't matter". (Thank you for that challenge Uncle Matt).

I cannot separate my faith from all of this, from all of life. I can't say that I'm not confused about some things right now or that I don't have questions, but there's a hope that won't leave me, and I know where it comes from. As God accompanies me on my journey on earth, I want Him to know I've embraced what He has given me daily, in my family, my friends, my home, my place in life, in the daisies in the backyard. I try to begin my day with time with God. I pour it all out to Him, my fears, my questions, my frustration, the things in life I just don't get, my pain, and my gratitude and my love. I'm honest with Him. Otherwise, I get bogged down under it all. I'm someone who carries emotion, burdens, worries on my back, and I have to cast my cares on Him or else, ask Adam, its not pretty. I know we all might not share the same faith, but I'm just sharing me in the hope that I will be loved for who I am, as we love Ken and Maggie for all they were, and continue to be for us. I want to love you all for all that are.

I love morning glories, one my favorite flowers. More of these blue flowers open on my fence everyday. I love them because they remind me of God's mercy, new every morning, a fresh start to the day, a new opportunity to live a little better, and love better.

All these thoughts are a mish mosh, but I guess I felt led to share. I guess I've just been thinking about Ken and Maggie, about Joseph Matthew, about Annabelle, about you all, about peace and harmony, and Eden, about Heaven, about love and life and on and on, so it goes.


1 comment:

Valerie said...

This is so precious. There are no words. My prayers are with you all.