Photo: Fearless

How timely to find this old post from the fall of 2011. Two years ago, is just a few winks of time for my friend (the mom of this girl) and I. For her though, much growing and changing has happened in the two and 1/2 years that have passed since I asked her if I could use her sweet photo.

Attendance Please

She is clothed in strength and dignity,

she can laugh at the days to come.

Psalm 31: 25

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A Post from Last Summer about Tired Hands

What a lucky couple of finds amongst a shoulder full of Monday confusions.

1: A photo from last fall that I took in the morning, but to me, looks like a setting sun:

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2: A couple of minutes to re-read a poem I found last summer. This summer I am reading the poem from the perspective of an American Sign Language (ASL) student. I hope to reboot my skills in a month or so, and for one reason and another, I re-read this poem from a Jesuit point of view. This time, the speaker in the poem became Jesus, and the hands became those of an ASL interpreter WannaBe.

Here is a link to the poem by Erin Bertram. It’s an encouraging poem. Hope the same is true for you.

Living Grief is Legitimate

Shweet! I was just looking in my old blog for some posts on grief to share with someone. I came upon an unfinished draft from what looks to be at least two Octobers ago. It makes me dearly miss the cow path, and I now want to write about nature.

But, the topic is grief…so here it ‘tis:

This is the time of year of course that political signs are popping up in yards. If there is a big issue on the ballot in our teeny village, I’ve not seen or heard.

Then again, I honestly don’t pay much attention.

I know that there’s competition for a part-time job that will affect getting our road (aka. cow path), clear of ice so that we can get to work and school.

Last year’s ice created the repetition: “Yeah, well, our road is the one that shuts schools down.” I hope the smartest township farmer wins on that one.

I’ve noticed a LOT of signs that are red and white this year.

Perhaps there is a candy cane sale going on.

This week though, while parenting, getting myself to the doctor and soaking up the fall colors, I noticed a new campaign of signs everywhere:

Legitimate Pain Care. Call 123.456.7890.

The sign has one of those pharmacy images on it with the snake that to me looks like a music signature.

My first thought was, okay…who do the people who fake pain call?

As I passed more of these silly signs, my gut reaction was slowly turning to some form of rage, as the Small Towns Against kNucklehead Drug Dealers corners of my heart and mind woke up.

We could form a group called STANDD. I’d vote for that. Who wouldn’t?

Oh. Yeah. Drug dealers.

None the less, I am enjoying the fall view tremendously during this week of our wedding anniversary. The beautiful weather along with our youngest son’s cute “boy and girl” questions makes it easy to remember our honeymoon. This blessing makes me hopeful that something funny could come from seeing these signs.

And.

Overall, in some circular way, these signs loop me back to a wonderful conversation a couple of weeks ago with a woman on my support team that convinced me that “living grief” is indeed: legitimate pain.

We weren’t talking about standard grief: when someone dies. We were talking about situations like one that a friend and his wife are experiencing. They are avoiding downsizing and possibly foreclosure.

I’ve lost touch for a bit with this friend for a variety of reasons. I think of this guy as an online mentor, particularly in terms of spirituality. He and his wife saw the income writing on the wall and “took a knee” right off the bat in their unique way. I’m fully confident that they will continue to work through their dilemma.

One of the things that I was impressed with when he first got the news that he was losing his job was that his first list of lists of to do’s was, oh, fifteen lines long. It was something to the effect of:

1. Go to the bank to see what to do.

2. Buckle my shoe.

3-4. Go to the store.

5. Grieve. 6. Grieve. 7. Grieve

8. 9, 10. Love on the elderly dog ’cause we ain’t gettin’ no fat hen.

Living Grief” is pretty legitimate stuff.