Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 270 Enjoy the "Handbreadth"

Dear friends,

This is my friend, marvelous Mary Louise. We have been friends for more than 20 years, and I have benefited in a thousand ways from her wisdom and optimism. She spent her gift certificate to take me to lunch today at a local middle eastern restaurant. As usual, I left her company feeling uplifted and blessed. She showed up frequently at Sunnyview, always with a vanilla frapp in her hand for Miss Rejoice. On some of those terribly frightening days, she was there with a cheerful heart and a ready hand. She's dying reading this, because in addition to being a fabulous person, she is a picture of humility. She's the kind of friend I hope all of you have. She's very deep in the Great One's camp. If I were the devil, I wouldn't mess with her...

Relationships are the meat and potatoes of life. It is difficult to make time for our friends. The "Tyranny of the Urgent" is ever biting at our heels. Since the accident I still struggle with that. But now, I make different choices. Better to hang out a few extra minutes with my children and hang the vacuuming. Better to go to lunch with a friend than weed the garden. (Joan, it is a disaster!) Better to have time with the Great One than watch the news. I don't always accomplish these priorities. But I try a whole lot harder to now. None of us knows what tomorrow will bring.

I was looking at the online science program I'm using with David this fall, and the chapter on the chemistry of life caught my attention. Carbon, it seems, is the essential element that makes up living things. Carbon is the foundational chemical for organic compounds. You and I, we are made up of a ton of carbon. Well, I look at relationships, with God and man, as the carbon of the inner life. Not the physical, seen world, but the essence of our true selves. I remember a question Jim Z. told me he asks his clients: "If you could have all the money in the world, but no one to share it with, to share the experiences or things it could buy, would you want it?" And of course every sane person would say no. What joy would there be in a life devoid of other people? I mean, solitude is great (I'm always looking for more of that!), but it does not a complete life make. This is not a ride you do solo. It was never meant to be.

By the way, thanks for sending me some cool verbs! You guys really rock the fun house! Since it's Friday, I thought we might end on a goofy, completely random note. (My kids always use that word "random". And they use it randomly...
* Domino had her first trip to the vet today. She growled at a large dog. She also has a heart murmur (nothing serious).
* Joseph got his first complete paycheck today. His response: "Why do they take so much out in taxes?"
* Sam and Matt (my nephews) go home tomorrow. Love those boys. I will be picking up Lego's for a week!"
* One week from tomorrow we leave for the beach. Bill and Cindy's beach house awaits! (Thank you, thank you my dear New Jersey friends!)
* Smitty calls me "B" for bunny rabbit. He has called me that since before we were married. During the week before vacation, as I pack, clean like a maniac and cook ahead, he will be hoping I don't act like what we call that "other kind of B."
* Between my house sitter, my neighbors and those fabulous EG police, I am resting assured my house will be standing and safe while we're away.
* Read another practical gem from the Book today, reminding me of our brief sojourn here:

Show me, O Lord, my life's end
and the number of my days;
Let me know how fleeting is my life.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as
nothing before You.
Each man's life is but a breath.
Man is a mere phantom as he
goes to and fro:
He bustles about, but only in vain;
He heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.
But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.
~ Psalm 39:4-7

It's a short ride, friends. Let's not miss our fellow passengers.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


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