Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Life Interrupted

Some days go by unnoticed.  I have a sense of what is going to happen, and even though I may not be able to control much, I still have the knowledge and predictability that has become our "normal".  That changed Wednesday, when our lives were interrupted with a call from my mother -in-law, telling us the news that our niece Trisdyn had died.  She is Patrick's brother Stephen and his wife Lynn's second born child.  She had been sick for all of her 7 years of life, and her body and brain had just had too much.  Trissy, as she was called, was a very beautiful little girl with a engaging laugh, and a tolerance for pain and suffering that surpasses what should be necessary for a young child. She endured so much, and even though I will miss her, I am so grateful that she is no longer hurting and struggling.       

Because of Trisdyn's death, Patrick and I needed to make our way to Tampa, Florida.  We made countless phone calls, sent lots of emails, and put many plans in order to afford us the 4 days to get out of town.  We are blessed to have babysitters who will care for our kiddos and animals and home in ways that  I could never have predicted.   After throwing all of the balls up in the air, relying on other peolpe besides myself to catch them, digging into drawers for Florida- appropriate clothing, we did indeed leave.
The time spent with Patrick's family was beautiful.  In spite of difficult circumstances, we all even managed to  laugh and smile a bit.  Trisdyn was memorialized and remembered many times over as the strong, happy girl that she was.  I felt proud to be a part of this family, one that would come together at a moments notice, from all parts of the country to help in any way that they could; to hug and cry; cook and clean; lift up and support.  Family.  
Once our goodbyes had been said to Stephen, Lynn and the rest of family and friends, we realized that we had an entire day before flying back home to Colorado.   We talked ourselves into a spontaneous trip down south to our favorite place, Naples.  I couldn't believe that we were going.  It was such a God-given respite that our weary selves needed.  Because the trip was  unplanned,  we had to stop at a Wal-Mart for beach necessities such as sunscreen, flipflops and a hat. A generous local told of us perfect (cheap!) place to park for the day, and we paid our money, changed our shoes and raced for the water.  We ate at our favorite restaurant, picked up beautiful seashells, dipped our toes in the cool Atlantic, and gawked at people half-naked on the beach.  I thought about telling you how soft the sand was and how glorious the hot sun felt, but then you might feel envy.  I wouldn't want that for you.  So instead, I will tell you how blessed I felt to walk for miles on the beach pushing from my mind the things that were causing me angst and stress.  With the ocean's symphony of waves and water as the soundtrack for my thoughts, the only feeling present was peace.  And I soaked that peace up just like the hot, Florida sun. 

Monday morning came early, and we boarded the plane to come back home.  I knew that we would re-enter a house that might be a little messy, interrupted by the shock of death and showing remnants of what I didn't get done before we left.  We were most excited to see our children who were delighted that we were back home.  We arrived home to find the laundry started, Michael happily finishing up his favorite puzzle, and evidences all around that our sweet babysitters, Vicki and Sarah, had taken extraordinary care of everything that we had left behind.  Seeing that it was about time for lunch at school, I jumped in the car and made a bee- line for the chance to see the girls.  I was greeted by one little girl who wore her favorite skirt to school because her mama was coming home from her trip, another who's smile at the surprise sighting of me completely lit up the room, and an unashamed huge hug and kiss from my 5th grader who proved that even as an "almost middle-schooler" some things are just way better than looking "cool".

Our life was interrupted and now its "back to normal" (what is that?).  And I think that I even stowed some of that peace in my carry-on luggage, ready to re-visit it at a moment's notice.

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