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On Gratitude And The Other Shoe

This trumpet vine looks like something out of a horror flick, but in the summer it's the most glorious example of totally out of control life.
It's been more then a month now since our Christmas and New Years bomb and I'm thinking about gratitude. Why is it so hard to be grateful? Instead of enjoying this relative lull in the chaos, I'm slinking around on eggshells, jumping at shadows, and in general making a mess out of things while waiting for the other shoe to drop, because it's not possible to have a horizon free of impending doom! I'm that screwed up ya'll! 
No, but seriously, it's been kinda difficult to really APPRECIATE the incredibleness that is Leo. His recovery has been nothing short of miraculous. After two surgeries, eleven days in PICU and about a month and half of shunt failure and hydro pressure, he's BAACK! Not only is he back, but he is roaring back like a biker in spring! It's totally awesome.  His therapists are in therapy score heaven with his progress. A comment that was heard several times was that Leo is a different kid from when they started with him this fall. Did you think we would ever hear words like that three years ago?! His gross motor skills have improved by about a mile and verbally he is making leaps and bounds. He's coming up with new adjectives, not just verbs now and he can string several words together, although they are more in the realm of a common phrase that can sound like one word:" Go get it! Or "time for bed!" Stuff like that...I'm pretty confident that he will learn the trick of original word pairings in no time.   He's a bit of a comedian and has an incredible feel for timing. It's almost uncanny how he knows exactly when to interject with a statement  for the most effect. Like when we bring him into church on Sunday, he somehow manages to yell "Amen! or God!" during a pause when everyone can't miss it.
So with things so good right now, what's the deal? Why the anxiety?
It's possible that we are suffering some major SADS which is typical in this area. 80% of the population in VT is a suffer. I bet you didn't know that!  (Possibly because I just made that up, but you know it really feels true...)
Anyway the weather has really been dramatic and that really does take it's toll on humans and animals alike. By dramatic I mean miserable and freakishly cold. But somehow, still kinda purdy...

Perhaps it's that, or perhaps it's that everywhere I go I hear of or see folks sick with some wretched plague virus, but whatever it is, I am just waiting, just waiting for the next health train wreck to take place in our house!
And it's really killing my living in the moment and being thankful vibe. I should be able to say my prayers each night with calmness and simplicity. Dear God, thank you for another day of life and love, and thank you for our heat. Period, zilch, that's all folks!  

See the animals know what really matters...
Anyway I suppose it's a metaphor for life; waiting for death etc, but what kind of life can it be, living like that? It would be impossible. And we have never lived that way. At least not since Leo who came to us in the beginning with an expiration date and taught us that every minute can be beautiful and last for a lifetime. Since the removal of his "label" we've gotten lazy and ungrateful. We are taking it all for granted, again, and even are resentful when things are't absolutely perfect according to our plan. I'm tired of living waiting for the other shoe to drop. Since I can't stop the bad stuff from happening from time to time, I'm just going to get rid of the shoe; the label, the whatever it is that makes me bite my nails in worry. I can't control what will happen, but I can control how I look at every moment that happens. Every good and amazing thing needs to stay that way, without being over shadowed by the "bad thing that hasn't happened yet." 

Leo doesn't deserve that from me. His incredible development and personality is a gift to us without strings, and I need to keep it that way.

Spring WILL come and with it our Great Lent in preparation for Easter which I'm waiting for with baited breath. I know that sounds crazy but the time of Lent really brings back control and sets priorities straight. It's like a 40 day reboot. And after all the snafu of this winter, if anybody needs a reboot, it's me. 
There is no better way to learn about the "other shoe" then when holding vigil with the mother of our Lord at the foot of the Cross, and no other way to learn about gratitude then witnessing and partaking of Christ's Resurrection.

The shadows will always be there, especially when I go looking for them, but isn't it easier to look at the light? 
I think so.


  1. please remember that you float on a sea of prayer Claire


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