Grace-filled living…

It’s cold and our frayed quilts and blankets are working overtime around here.  Knowing I needed to mend and wash the favorite one in dad’s favorite chair, he insisted I provide another one in its place (and I did).  The one I gave him started an unusual conversation about family quilts.  In the midst of his story, he profoundly commented, “just like the changing of these quilts comes the transitions in our lives, many with uncertainty; others with excitement and, your favorite word, Bethy, ‘JOY.’ ”  

Yes; my mouth fell open.

Combining a multi-generational family into one home during this season of our lives obviously doesn’t come with an instructional manual…at least one I can understand.  Home is still where our stories begin and continue, and with that being said, we’re a little over a full year into tenderly stitching dad and Princess Sassypants (Poppy) into our home.  While nothing is perfect (remember, I despise that word), through grace, we thankfully haven’t lost our sense of humor yet.  Laughter, teasing, and smiles are some of the greatest tension relievers on the tough days.  My mom often noted how “the shortest distance between two people is always laughter.”  Daddy subscribes to the philosophy of “a good time to laugh is when you can.”  Even with his growing health concerns and loss of memory, he is remarkably full of life, laughter, and lots of stories.  He is the proverbial rose-colored glasses guy because he whole-heartily believes there is always, always, always something to be grateful for each day.  He chooses to walk to the sunshine in order to leave the shadows behind him.

On the really long, tough days when none of us have much strength left to deal, we work to gently remind one another to reach a little deeper into our personal well of grace where more resources pour out to move us forward.  And then there’s the tiny spark in daddy’s eye before he gracefully reminds me how “flexible people never get bent out of shape.”

His brain is astounding…one minute not remembering how to tie his shoelaces, and the next minute, spouting pearls of wisdom rendering me speechless.

You‘re right daddy; families are like our old quilts…carefully crafted and pieced together in colorful memories bound tightly in love.  Although they tend to unravel at times, each can be stitched back together with kindness, understanding, patience, love, and lots and lots of grace.

If you’re on a similar journey, just know I have thread, scraps, and sewing needles…along with kindness, understanding, patience, love, and lots of grace to share, my friends…

9 thoughts on “Grace-filled living…

  1. These words are one of my favorites. I guess I too have a fettish for quilts and how they have stories to tell. I seem to remember a certain project at Longbranch dealing with two classes and two quilts. I love your words and your dad’s input. He is so right about laughter and flexible people and walking toward the sunshine. I have always loved quilts, their patterns, pieces making a whole, and the fraying and stitching of them. What stories they hold. Love it!❤️

  2. Bill and I have friends (a couple) in our circle of friends who are going through this journey. It’s really hard for him. Our group of prayer buddies and friends (ladies) try to always have her come to our little coffee meetings. She is physically there, but mentally in and out. It’s our joy to help her husband and once in awhile we see a glimmer of her unique sense of humor. We are all very protective of her. I think she just enjoys being part of our group. We enjoy being there for her. There is always a lot of laughter!

    • Momma’s beloved Coffee Club continued to come bi-monthly to their Assisted Living apartment to drink coffee, tell stories, laugh, and catch up (many of them MISD icons in education!). Even though mom rarely spoke or participated (other than being in her chair), they soldiered on to always include her, tell those same familiar stories, laugh, and protect her humanity in a profoundly graceful and beautiful way. They surrounded daddy much the same after mom’s passing until he moved east with us. PLEASE continue to share and provide those precious moments of “normalcy” when you can; it is an extraordinary act of kindness, dearest Phyllis!

  3. There must be something in the air I’m allergic too. My eyes are leaking. It’s probably age, or the similarities, or the stark reality that we have what we have but let’s “laugh when we can”. Thank you my friend for allowing us into your heart.

    • Thanks to each of you for sharing with me today; your observations and insights warm my soul and continue to fill my cup with grace to keep moving forward. You each hold a special place in my heart and I greatly appreciate the interactions and pathways we’ve taken together through the years; multitude of thanks!

    • Angie…thanks for reaching out and sharing after all these years, beautiful soul! You could always ‘read’ me so well; grateful for years of friendship, always laughter, and keen awareness into what really matters in life!

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