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Showing posts with label 2015. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2015. Show all posts

Friday, June 5, 2015

Seeing it All

view of Brazos river from car moving across the bridge
Last Year I read a memoir titled Sightlines. At the time when I was writing about the book, I said - I could see it all, describing the collection of poems and audio "collage" from Janet Riehl. In her frank, descriptive voice, I was able to really see all of the journey of this family , their fun and their work, their togethernesss and apartness, their good times and their shattered joy and bereavement as well as the sometimes indescribable complexities of aging oneself while attending to the aging of one's parents. At times what I saw was unsettling, even unlovely.  But there was also love and longing and tenderness. I saw remembering, and just as in my own life, at times the remembering hurts .  I could see it all.

I hope that I have at least a fraction of that ability to help others see the joy of our journey as a family in that way.  The past 2 weeks have been a roller coaster for many, and our family is no exception. Immediately following the togetherness of our Memorial Day, weather turmoil catapulted much of Texas into chaos. Beginning the evening of Memorial Day, a Monday - a violent thunder storm raged all night long, creating the start of historic flooding and destruction. Families literally separated by the power of raging rivers, life and property lost. As rivers continued to rise whole neighborhoods evacuated to shelter in other places. The river which divides the neighborhoods where our youngest son and family live from the area where Joe and I and our oldest son's family live - the Brazos, reached flood stage almost a week ago, crested 2 feet above that and waters are still at that level today, the 5th day since. 

Our church, First Baptist Church in Richmond, is a designated Red Cross shelter in crises like this, and a number of people found helping hands when they came to stay. I baked bags full of chocolate cookies and delivered to volunteers and those who had to sleep on a cot that night. When every newscast pictures another family who has lost everything, some even their family members, I prayed for them, but I also gathered my own dear ones closer to my heart and mind.

Then, 3 days ago, danger came closer than the river had. Joe weakened and collapsed with a high fever due to what is thought now to be infection begun by a spider bite. What began as a wife worrying because her husband did not feel well in the afternoon ended with a call to 911 and admission to hospital by nightfall. Indescribable complexities? Togetherness and apartness? Unsettling, even unlovely? Yes, all that but also love and longing and tenderness and joy. Our family is close, and in the frightening, uncertain, threatening emergency of 911 calls and specialists and IV antibiotics of the last 48 hours, I am able to rejoice in the faithfulness and loving provision of God, the sustaining, nurturing concern and expressions of love from our sons and other family and friends, and the absolute knowledge that whatever the next 48 hours brings, the acronym spread across my husband's T shirt as the medics loaded him into the ambulance is true.

It's Gonna Be OK!