It's been about a week now that work has been a bit more shocking, odd, crazy, wild, noisy, etc. than normal. While other businesses struggle, ours is thriving, so days are busier than they've been. That a mental health facility is booming is a sad sign of the times. Especially the young ones that come through our doors way too often. It's also been about a year now since a mother dropped off her 53-yr-old daughter in disgust, washing her hands of her. That was the last time she saw her in this lifetime. Been a thoughtful time for me, which means I understand more of what I'm trying to say and so, no matter how many times I proof it, I won't readily realize it if something comes across twisted or backwards so you need to blow it off more than usual.
I just have to say how thankful I am to Heavenly Father for blessing me with afflictions and difficulties and dysfunctions and bounties and mercies that He knew I could learn from and grow from and just basically handle from day to day. I'm constantly amazed at the intertwining of it all. An experience I may whine about at one point ends up teaching me a trait that helps me through a difficult time years later and I find myself blessing the very thing I whined about. So much of what I see day to day scares me and shocks me and also tenderly touches me but I'm so grateful I don't go home to some of these situations.
The blessing of having my family in close proximity is one thing I know I take for granted way too much. I know the chances are huge it won't always be that way. I know I can only speak from my own experiences and feelings (but I feel like I've seen it in the way some of the other family members act from time to time) when I say that each day and each get-together finds me re-evaluating what my role is and where exactly my place is. Weird how a person's place can actually be so fluid. I guess that's one of the reasons why you don't stake a young tree down so tight that it can't maintain some of it's flexibility. It seems like everyone takes their turn being moody, getting bullied, being the bully, backbiting, praising, supporting, criticizing, talking, not talking, cleaning up, making messes, crying, throwing tantrums, playing good together, throwing sand, fighting, mingling, helping someone smaller, laughing, teasing, helping someone bigger, getting down on the floor and playing marbles, standing aloof in the corner, etc., etc. I've decided we're not dysfunctional, we're diverse and diverse is good.
In the past, there have been a handful of gatherings where I have come away feeling like Abish in the Book of Mormon (v. 28 specifically) but, looking back I see growth and change and acceptance and, overall, I'm pretty sure we're still in the safe range on the 'normal' side of the scale. Sometimes after everyone leaves and the house is stone quiet, I feel so lost and abandoned. Other times I can't get them all out of here fast enough and I understand why my mother was eager to have us head for home, even if it meant leaving her with a huge dinner-full of dishes to do alone. I get it. When all is said and done, I hope my children, their spouses and my grandchildren all know they are loved and welcome and enjoyed and looked on with the kind of pride only a parent is allowed to have.
And I pray somewhere along the line, in the middle of all the spontaneity, the fun, the winds of change and the drama of our trek through unchartered territory, a good memory is made for someone. One of those memories that will come to mind during a dark night and be a magnetic draw back home. One of those memories that makes you start laughing to yourself and you can't really explain it to anyone because it's one of those you-would-have-had-to-have-been-there times. One of those memories that will make your stomach growl because you're so hungry for a place where you belong and are loved.
I can hope anyway.
Posted with love,