Thursday, December 29, 2011

Five Years

.....And I'm still trying to figure out 
how I beat all the other girls in line 
(and believe me, there was a line!).

Happy Anniversary, Honey.
You're my Best Everything!!
How I love you!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"...and pondered these things in her heart"

(Isn't this picture really great?!
 By Alice Havers.
This Mary looks like a mother:
Dark circles under the eyes, tired.
But holding her little boy close.
But at peace.

I've decided that I like being pregnant at Christmas time. 
I like where it sends my thoughts.
How it focuses me inward, in a good way.

I begin to think, what better gift?
What could someone wrap and put under a tree
that could ever come close to a child?

And yes, I say that with sincerity....
Knowing full well that gift cards are quieter,
jewelry never leaves a mess,
my favorite movies always go where I want them to,
and good sushi never disappoints.

I just stop thinking about what else I could be getting,
what else I want or need.

I'm getting a child.
Which was the first gift.
And the greatest.

And so my thoughts turn to holier gifts as well.
Gifts given to me that I can never repay.
Gifts of hope and purpose and joy and eternal family.

From a child.
At Christmas time.

So Merry Christmas to me!
To us!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Good Friend

I have some brown bowls.
Really more of a chocolate color, dark and lovely.
Wide, deep bowls. Ceramic. 
The good stuff.
(I would post a picture, but our dishwasher
is cruel to the outside of our dishes;
just wouldn't do my bowls justice...
Still the nicest things I own,
hard water spots and all.)

And I love them.
Love to eat from them.
Because every time, without fail,
the memory comes to me
of where they came from....

A big garage, full of stuff.
Really packed!
We were cleaning, my good friend and I.
And the treasures we found!
Amazing things! Beautiful things!
And she gave some to me--
Like my bowls--
Like it was nothing to her.
Like she had plenty.
Like I deserved anything my eye fell upon,
even for a moment.

Because that is my friend.
She gives things, food, flowers, friendship, love,
Like she has plenty;
Like I deserve it all.
I do not remember the time before her friendship.

I remember her camera,
taking pictures of my friends and I in fancy dresses.
Made us feel like princesses.

I remember her hiring me to clean her house,
not because she needed the help,
but because she knew I could use the money
and the opportunity.

I remember her walking into our home
with bags of Trader Joe groceries--
The Good Stuff--
while my mom rested in her hospital bed downstairs,
dying of cancer.

I remember her last minute touches
to my wedding flowers.
Placing the wreath around my head.
How the flowers were perfect.
Rich and bold and beautiful.
And when I wanted to thank her that night,
at the reception, 
I discovered she was home with the flu,
feeling awful.
But had pulled herself out of bed
for my flowers.

That is my friend.
She gives. She loves. She is.

And even for my friend,
lovely and strong,
life can deal out blows.
Heavy, hard blows.

And I find myself fantasizing these days
of throwing my kids in the car
and showing up on her doorstep.
Being there for her,
Like she was for Momma,
Like she has been for me.

And I would have a carton of cookie dough.
And some good movies.
And she wouldn't have to get out of her sweats,
if she didn't want.
And I would clean her house
(for old time's sake).
And we would lay on the couch
and do nothing.

And she could talk.
Or not.
And I would listen.
Or be silent.

I just want to be there.
I want to say to her--
My friend,
A Good Friend--
"I don't know what you're going through.
But I know what hurt feels like.
And loss.
And you don't have to be strong.
Not with me.
And you can be angry.
Or sad.
Or tired.
And I love you!
Because I know you....
My friend!
My Good Friend!
The Best Kind!"

And maybe someday
(soon, I hope)
I can give in to my fantasy
and show up on your doorstep.
But until then, my friend,
I am not far away.
And it's okay with me
if you let your hair down.