Last week was hard. One of my hardest. My sweet Auntie Evelyn died after being hit by an SUV while crossing a grocery store parking lot. She lingered three painful months. My dad was admitted to the hospital with complications from a six way heart bypass he had this summer. And I experienced a hard battle with the depression that continues to nip at my heels. Still, I continue to be amazed at the joy waiting for us in the midst of sorrow and tragedy. I wonder if the scary times in life are there to open wide the door to love.
Saturday night I was able to attend the Mountain West Conference Championship football game with my husband and children, and we wildly cheered our Broncos on to victory. We happily rushed the field with other fans from this crazy Bronco Nation. Earlier in the week a sweet friend who is fighting her own hard battle, dropped off a bag full of goodies for me of lotions, food and tea, which she followed up with a loving email.
There is a sweetness in the painful times of life. That circling of the wagons by those who love us and hurt along with us. When life is humming along happily and the bumps are small and easily maneuvered, I don’t need to be taken care of so much. I can do more of it on my own. But when the bumps become mountains and the road barely navigable, I need the people who love me to drag me out of the pit, pull me over the mountain, and be my road map. No matter how many times I forget I can’t do it all, I keep falling back into that mindset. It's the hard times that keep bringing me back into community. Back into the fold of love my family and friends always have for me.
I’m grateful God has put in my life men and women and even little boys and girls, who love me so well and remind me I am not alone. Because life was not made to be lived in insolation but together and messily.
I wonder which of our friends and family are hurting and needing extra love and attention. I hope I learn to pay better attention. To check in regularly and care enough to put a little more of myself into ensuring they know they are loved and valuable and hold a big space in my heart.