August 30, 2021
August 27, 2021
Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.
August 20, 2021
August 15, 2021
August 13, 2021
August 11, 2021
August 7, 2021
August 6, 2021
August 4, 2021
28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand (4.5/5)
Kissed a Sad Goodbye by Deborah Crombie (4/5)
Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy (3.5/5)
Still Me by JoJo Moyes (4.5/5)
Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano (4/5)
The Sewing Room by Rev. Barbara Cawthorne Crafton (3/5)
The Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King
Movies & TV Series:
August 1, 2021
People are what matter... Everything comes back to people: people I love, people I've disappointed, people I worry about, people I mourn.
At this annual conference, there are always facial tissues in the welcome kit. The participants cry a lot.
It is the annual conference of The Compassionate Friends, an organization of people whose children have died. There are two thousand people here: mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, grandparents. A sprinkling of clergy and others in the helping professions. I fit several of these categories. I am a priest. I am the mother of a dead child and the stepmother of another. I never knew the young man my husband misses so mightily. It wasn't until after he died that I met his dad. But I have dreamed of him. My own dead child never saw my face; he was too small to see, too small to cry, too small to live. But I saw him. Sixteen years later, I see him still. And in a dozen years of ordained ministry, I have watched the bedsides and prayed at the gravesides of many young people. Too many. But then, even one would have been too many.
My Current Thoughts:
I've had a draft of this post for several years now. Every time I start to share it, I find myself flipping through the pages of the book, re-reading passages, wondering why some spoke to me back in 1996, while others are still just as powerful as they were 20 years ago. I rarely re-read books, but maybe this is the year.
On the passage of years:
But years pass again, and life changes. Love comes again. Marriage. My youngest child is almost grown, and I am astonished at how brief this era, almost past, has been. How brief my life has been. I am aware that the decades left to me will seem even briefer, so they had better be sweet. If I do not capture and celebrate what art I have, it will die. If I do not nourish myself, I will yearn for nourishment. If I do not connect myself with my own past in the things I do now, I will remain adrift from it. Those whom I have loved in the past cannot catch hold of me, for they are dead. It is I who must catch them.On the loss of a child:
How long has it been since your son died, he asks? Five years. The man looks at my husband and tries to imagine himself surviving five years of this. He can't. He asks if it gets any easier. It gets different, my husband answers. Not exactly easier. It's hard to explain.On parental worry:
Separateness with love, though, recognizing that my child is a separate person with a destiny separate from my own, a destiny I cannot completely control: that's frightening.
... Now you know other fears at night. The stakes are a lot higher. Fears that don't spring from a neurotic need to control everything, but from an accurate assessment of what the world is like. The world is sometimes a dangerous place in which to live. There are things out there that can really hurt your child. And so, you worry.On imperfection:
I told them that it is good to have one's faults unambiguously revealed from time to time, in order that one may know wherein it is that we are acceptable. It is not in our perfection that we are loved. It is in the honest confession of our imperfection. Our clear conscience does not come from our assurance that we have not sinned. It comes from our assurance that we are forgiveable.