11/26/08

Beauty in Battles

I'm sitting in my Dad's home office. The boys are at my feet, playing with paper clips. I'm letting them. (I'll keep one eye on them to make sure they don't eat them.) Miles could make paper clip chains for hours. I'm all for anything that occupies him for longer than one minute.

It's a busy Thanksgiving week for us, which is turning into a short blogcation for me. Ryan is in North Carolina for work, and I have a funeral to go to here in my home town. A life-long friend of mine lost her dad to cancer this week.

It will be a sad day, mixed with the joy of seeing faces that have known mine all these years. My lovely friends and their families. People that know my history and I theirs. I love home. Even if our hard times are heavier for all the memories we share.

I want to hug my grieving friend, the one that used to share a silly private language with me. The one who has always been a forty-year-old, trapped in a young woman's body, so responsible and goal-minded. The one who graciously gave up and allowed me to win when we fought over a boy. The one who has always shown up to events through the years since high school, eager to keep in touch with her childhood friends.

She is lovely.

This family has endured a long battle with cancer. Now my friend's Dad has graciously given up that battle and allowed cancer to win. A sweet mercy arrived and brought him relief. Which makes his family relieved for him, but left to continue a battle with grief.

I pray they find comfort in the familiar faces of people that love them like crazy today.

It seems everywhere I turn in the last week or two there's a story of a battle, a difficult time in the lives of people who are struggling to remain strong and faithful.

Every once and awhile it seems like there's some sort of epidemic of hard times. It seems it comes in waves. But the reality is that those times are always there. People are struggling every day on this fallen earth. When all is quiet and there has been no bad news heard, it doesn't mean it's not there for someone, somewhere.

The beauty of Thanksgiving is what it speaks about the strength of the human spirit. That despite all of our trials, we can see through eyes of grace, finding beauty in our lives. There's a lot of beauty right there, even in the midst of battles. It's the way the light bounces off the water. Or the sound of birds chatting and chirping in the crisp morning air. It's two boys making paper clip chains at my feet, giggling as they toss them around. It's in life-long friendships and loving families. It's somewhere, always. We just need to turn from our battles and take a good look to see it.

Today I see that beauty and I'm thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving to you.

27 clicked right here to comment:

Ron said...

I heard a man in Alexandria LA say,
"We hear people say, someone is struggling with cancer. We are not struggling with cancer. Cancer is struggling with us. Cancer will die either way. If God choses and heals us, Cancer loses. If God choses this to be the vehicle to take us home with him, cancer loses. You cannot kill that which will not die. We have, within all of us, the seed of immortality. We do not struggle with cancer, cancer struggles with us."

My prayers and best wishes are with your friend .. and to you I say, Happy Thanksgiving ..

Abra said...

Happy Thanksgiving Heather,
Such peace is in this message.
Thank you.

Jillene said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!!

LisAway said...

You are a lovely, lovely person, Heather. And sometimes you make people cry with your posts. And I'm thankful for you for those reasons. Happy Thanksgiving to YOU!

Carolyn said...

"The beauty of Thanksgiving is what it speaks about the strength of the human spirit."

I like that. Because you're right. Everyone is struggling but we still all step away from that for a day and try to be so fiercely grateful. And it makes our lives a little better, our burdens a little lighter.

Keyona said...

Very sweet post. Happy Thanksgiving to you! :o)

JustRandi said...

I love this post! You are such a talented writer, Heather!

Kristina P. said...

Heahter, you need to write a book. What a beautiful post. You ROCK!!

Melanie J said...

I love this. And as someone who lost both parents (for the time being) to cancer, I love Ron's quote. I will keep that forever.

Heidi Ashworth said...

Pure poetry! Love it!

Kazzy said...

Oh, Heather. I am choked up. We have to take pleasure from small things like the paper clip chain. We are not built to bear every burden of mankind. That is why He sent His son. Go human spirit!

Anonymous said...

Thanx Heath Bar ~
I needed that today.
Muuuah!! crock

Becky said...

Give that friend of yours an extra hug today, for all of us who've read this post!

P.S. I so love what Ron had to say.

radioactive girl said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

a Tonggu Momma said...

Beautiful post, Heather... and oh-so-relevant to us this year. We believe that the Tongginator's grandfather is enjoying a Thanksgiving Feast at the foot of our Lord this year. Man, that food must taste delicious!!!

And yes, I realize that there probably isn't food in heaven, y'all, but go with me here... we are still grieving a bit and if we want to tell ourselves that he is eating pumpkin pie, just go with it.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Such lovely thoughts. Happy Thanksgiving!

minnesotamom said...

Beautiful, Heather.

Sabrina said...

oh Heather... you are such a lovely person. I am thankful for your friendship. Your post was beautiful, you have a gift with words!

Erin said...

It is so great that you can see the beauty in almost all things. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

Beautiful post. Damn these tears today!

Happy Thanksgiving honey :)

T and T Livesay said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you Heather ... counting you among my new friends to be thankful for and continuing to pray for the Noggin as you prepare for next week.

With love and gratitude,
tara

Kimberly said...

Happy Thanksgiving, you beautifully hearted girl you!

Octamom said...

Happy Thanksgiving and for the reminder to enjoy the important things~

Blessings~

Peanut said...

The lesson I learned through the loss of our friend Con to cancer this summer is that there are people battling something everywhere. They still have to drive, and take their kids to school, and go grocery shopping, no matter what horrors they are experiencing that no one can see on the outside. It has given me a lot more grace for others, this new knowledge.
As always, beautifully written.
Happy Thanksgiving to you, my friend.

charrette said...

This is so beautiful. I lost my mom to cancer, and I have to say, that parade of high school friends and distant relatives all showing up to show their love was an enormous comfort. I still think about all the smiles, tears, and hugs that day and feel richly blanketed in love.

Glad you found a peaceful moment to be thankful. I am thankful I found you -- and your blog -- this year. Wishing you many unexpected blessings and a Happy Thanksgiving always.

Motherboard said...

You write magically. I love to come here and see how you turn, even the difficult trials, into beautiful prose.

Happy turkey day to you too!

binders said...

What a beautiful message and so very true. Thank you for sharing it.

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