This photo is not a well-focused, balanced, artistic photo. It is just my snapshot of homemade chicken noodle soup, made by my super caring husband. It is one thing I have to be thankful for while I am sick on my favorite week of the year. And there are so many others. My cozy home, with the Christmas tree up, and a comfortable recliner from which to enjoy it. My soft lavender robe, and just-as-soft tissues for my nose. A family member who will be doing a Thanksgiving meal “porch drop” for Keith and me, and other family members who offered the same and friends and students who have offered food and help and loving words of encouragement and who check in on me just because they are selfless souls who care deeply and a doctor able to see me on the same day I called and insurance to pay the doctor and the medicine and a comfortable spare bedroom for Keith to sleep in so I don’t keep him awake with my cough and WhatsApp to keep in touch for free with my daughter in India and the amazing, gentle care she is receiving for a herniated disc, from grandmotherly women and doctors making daily home visits to the room she is renting from these women and the ease of heart it helps me feel while she is there alone and in pain and without my help and the Father of All who is no less there than He is here and the vast array of birds and fun critters outside my huge windows that let in all the light and loving souls in my life who share their beautiful words and prayers and sentiments and lives and parents who passed on, but left themselves in unspeakable ways right here in my heart and children who struggle, but l.o.v.e. in all the ways afforded to them, and who I proudly call my own and granddaughters who give joy in ways I never could have imagined and their daddy who is not just an in-law to me and music and poetry and books and life and Jesus in the nativity beneath my tree, and His saving cross at the top and the Word of God and the Lamb of God and the love of God and no period, because there is no end
She showed up at the nursing home, waiting to be let in. Of course her chances for entry were near zero, as animals were not welcome. But this pretty golden retriever would not take no for an answer. I don’t know the story of how she actually gained entrance. I can only tell you that by the time my grandmother was in their care, she had already become part of the facility’s staff. We were told that, from her very first moment inside, it seemed like she had just always been there. She knew where everything was. She knew the routine. She knew this was a quiet place, and she abided. She knew when a patient was soon to die. She graciously stayed with them and comforted them until they passed … but not before seeking entry permission from a nurse. She knew her role. This was her life’s work.
I wonder … sometimes, might we glimpse Eden’s garden in full bloom, pre-fall