My cup runneth over, I am blessed. When there are terrible things going on in the world (and occasionally in my own life), sometimes it is difficult with all of that pain out there to remember how very blessed that we are. It's too easy to plunge into despair, wondering why there is so much evil in the world. Often it is harder to look around and see what is right with the world, because it is not so glaringly obvious. Sometimes it is difficult to see the forrest for the trees.
I have shared more than once that this is a difficult time of year for Christopher and I. I find myself sinking into despair as Christmas approaches, it's a little like quick sand. At first you wonder why you are having difficulty moving your feet, then you look down and realize why. There is the fighting to get out of the quick sand, and then the acceptance, that there is now nothing you can do about it. That is the way that depression rolls in for me beginning December 1. I feel powerless to stop it, an it does not leave until after Gabe's birthday (February 2). This has been the pattern for 8 years, I have come to expect it, but not to embrace it.
Today something wonderful happened to me. My day began, a usual Monday. I got up early, went to Breakfast Club (I volunteer at my children's school to feed hungry children breakfast on Monday mornings). I then took Elly to her speech therapy session in Madoc, uneventful. I took Elly to school, and signed her in. It was almost recess when we arrived, so I kept her in her winter clothes. When the bell rang I walked her to the door to go out for recess. She spotted Riley and Rowan and ran off without even looking back.
I walked out to the car, a smile on my face. I decided to sit in the car and watch the kids at recess, everything else on my to do list could wait. It was not long before I spotted Riley and Rowan walking together, that made me smile. I looked a little closer and noticed that Elly was holding hands with Riley and her friend Huntyr. Elly then broke loose from the girls to go and hug Rowan. She ran between Rowan and his friend Zack. I could see Zack bend down to speak to her. They played together, the five of them all recess. Riley would wait patiently for Elly to catch up to her. Elly ran between Rowan and Riley, often having her little cupcake hatted head patted by one of the big kid's friends. All of them looked at her with adoration. I sat there, my face hurt from smiling, and I could barely see them for my tears of love. I was so proud of them.
We have a large family, it is something that we did by choice. Our children have built in friends. My children genuinely like each other. That is not to say that they don't fight, they fight, but not in a mean way. There are lots of personality conflicts, but I think that this is just the training ground for future conflict resolution. You need to learn how to deal with people. At the end of the day, they love each other. Honestly, most days I look at them and realize that I am a good mother, we are raising them to be good, kind, loving people. They will have friends that will come and will go, but they will have each other long after their father and I leave this earth. No one on this earth other than your parents loves you or knows you like your siblings.
It has been my ability to see the beauty in the world that allowed me to come through the death of my nine year old oldest, beautiful son. It is the glass half full that has seen me through some very dark days. I see the darkness, the evil that the world has, but I choose to focus on the good, on the light. It may be naive but I think that by focusing on the darkness we give it all the more power. We need to see that there is cruelty and hate in the world, and try to do our part to change it. We need more love, more kindness. We need to embrace the light, and give it more power.
Today as I sat in that cold damp car I watched my world (well 4/5 of my world, Grace is at the other school and Christopher was at work). I forgot about my grief. I forgot that another mother has no baby to tuck in tonight. All I could see was love. All I felt was goodness. I realized as I often do, but without the same kind of intensity, I am blessed, my cup runneth over.