We are on week #7 for our Thankfulness Series and I am still amazed each week at these wonderful heart felt stories that keep on comin’! Today we have the sweet Skye from Neathering our Fest – you better grab some tissues because this one is a tear jerker.
my husband (whew – thank goodness), dinner (at least i got one meal covered), a few of my friends (who needs many friends anyways), my direct family (eh – the rest of them are so-so anyways)….
and yeah. i would have woken up this morning on the dirt somewhere with no clothes, no shoes, no house, no bed, no breakfast, no dogs, no computer, no phone, no car, no job…
it is a struggle for me but as a disciple of Christ i am called to be thankful for everything. all day. every day.
i got a big lesson in thankfulness about a year and a half ago. my mom died suddenly of a heart attack on may 17, 2010. that day, and for many days and months thereafter, i was angry at God.
i was 28 years old. my husband an i had just bought our first house. we were starting to think about having a family. and then, within the realm of a two minute phone call with my dad, all of that changed. suddenly God had taken all the things in my life i had to celebrate and dumped them out the window. then he gave me a bucket of dirty old rocks for me to lug around.
for a long time that bucket burdened me. my shoulders ached from carrying it. i had dust on my jeans and shoes. there were blisters on my hands from the handle. finally, one day, i could carry it no longer. i sat the bucket of rocks down and plopped down beside it, exhausted.
i was afraid of those rocks. to me each of those rocks represented something i would never get to share with my mom. making my first house into a home. witnessing the birth of my first child. laughing at me when i got peed on for the first time. walking me through the first night of a sick baby. hearing my child call her nana for the first time.
i stared at those rocks for a long time before building up the courage to pick one up. i held it in my hand and appreciated the weight of it. i turned it over and examined it from all sides. i found a crack in its exterior. i dug my fingernail into the tiny fissure. a small piece of the dirty shell fell away. i kept at it. little by little, this dirty old rock dissolved in my hand and left in its place was a chunk of gold.
a small memory. sitting with my mom on the couch one night eating spaghetti and watching american idol. immediately i felt her next to me, heard her laugh, smelled her spaghetti and could see her drinking sweet tea out of her big pink cup. i held my eyes shut and relished in that small memory.
i opened my eyes, looked back in the bucket of rocks and grabbed another one. this one was larger and heavier. again, there was a small crack in its exterior. i forced a fingernail in and scraped away at the grubby shell to reveal another chunk of gold.
this memory is me and mom sitting at a theater on broadway, holding hands and through tears, singing phantom of the opera to ourselves in a packed house. i can feel the itchy old seats under me, her fingers interlaced with mine. i can hear the music reverberating the floorboards under my feet.
this bucket of rocks that God gave me, that i dread facing every day, that i still carry around with me… it is a container of things to be thankful for. it holds all of my most precious memories with my mom. i am so thankful that God gave me the mom that he did. i am so thankful that God gave me the friends he did to get me through her death. i am so thankful that God gave me that bucket of rocks to carry around because in doing so, He gave me a reason to thank Him. even when i get tired and beat down and want to just give up.
if i ever start to feel resentful about losing her, i just grab another dirty old rock and peel away the dusty shell. and there God has placed a memory just for me.
when people ask me how i have done “so well” with her death, i simply tell them that the only thing that has gotten me this far is strength from God. and for that, i am very thankful.
Skye, thank you for pouring out your heart.
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