Last night I spent a joyous evening with a group of girlfriends from the neighborhood. It was the culmination of a week in which I was back to my very social self. It seems like a long time ago, but honestly, it really has only been in the past year that I have found myself behaving more like a recluse.
As one friend put it, it was as if “I had gone dark.”
It started when Danielle left for college fourteen months ago. A chunk of my heart was now living an ocean away. Soon after a very close friend passed into eternity and a month later my grandmother chose to do the same. Random accidents took the lives of those we knew and I am weary of asking some who are very close if their prognosis has a timeline attached to it. Through it all I have put thousands of miles on my car.
Then the storm hit, and for me, it turned out to be a gift in disguise. On the surface, my family watched as I cleaned and purged rooms that had been left for dead. Pictures that had been sitting around for months got hung and every little thing on Brian’s workbench got repaired. The children never complained about the work or the loss of power. They knew that our situation was still far better than that of many others.
What the children could not see was the cleansing of my heart. Despite all that has gone on around me I have worked hard to remain in a state of gratitude. Yet the constant motion of my life served to simply push other emotions to the back of the closet, so to speak. The quiet of the storm’s aftermath allowed the dust and cobwebs of mourning to be swept away as the floodgate holding back tears was released.
As we say thanks on Thursday, I will be amongst those whose list of thanks is a mile long. There is as much chance that mourning and loss will show up instead of joy and laughter on any given day. Thus, I will be especially thankful for the lesson learned this year that rose above all others. Embracing all that life has to offer – the good and the bad – ensures that we live life in the fullest. By doing so we embrace the light, making the path much easier to find when the shadows appear.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!