Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The impact of friends and the healing power of what is important.

Seems appropriate that right after the snowflake ball (a girl scout activity) we had a lot of snow flakes. 18 degrees and dropping, snow and glare ice, just closed the freeway again. I'm off to work, they only gave us a delayed opening.

I wanted to add something.  This last week was really rough. It started with some events that triggered many of my lingering grief issues.  Then I was dealing with them while my wife was out of town and we had one of those very rare times when grief hit us both at the same time (usually we are lucky enough to take turns so that we are able to comfort each other).

I had some dramatic hostility with a guest post I did for another blog -- it felt like people were being hostile just to score points without paying attention to what I was really saying (talking about my feelings and how it hit me, not about anyone's real motives).  Of course the scheduling for the post and when I had to interact with it got moved so that it overlapped a time of intense personal grief and pain for me.

But then, but then, I got to sleep in the same bed and hear my wife breath, feel her presence.  Saturday morning I've got a group of guys I spend some time with, an hour or so.  Been doing that for a while (and, of course, I have my wife to thank for pointing them out to me and suggesting I join the group).  I walked into the room and saw their faces.  The last of the pain and frustration just melted away.

Seeing them, seeing my friends, after being able to just sleep in the same bed with my wife and just know that she was there, made my heart feel so very glad.  It is hard to express.

Then, that night, I had the Snowflake activity with my daughter Rachel.  Yesterday I was able to talk with my daughter Heather.  It is funny, just how important they are to me and how I've learned to explain that to them. Rachel told me that something I was explaining made her feel guilty.  I told her "I don't want you to feel guilty, I want you to realize how important you are."

Suddenly she smiled.  I made sure to tell Heather the same thing yesterday.  A wire transfer wasn't going to work right so my wife drove down to the bank, on two inches of ice (while I got ready to go into work since the office decided to open) to make a transfer between accounts in cash for Heather.  She did that because Heather is important to us.  I only told her about the details so she would realize that she was important enough for her mom to make sure that happened the right way.

But it is an important message, how important people are and that things are being done not because they've made themselves an inconvenience, not because they've resulted in sacrifice or discomfort for you, but because they are important enough that you are gladly doing things, be it getting up in time to meet with a bunch of guys drinking their coffee at 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday, or driving to the bank to make a transfer so things are not delayed, or dressing up for a girl scout activity.

Or staying awake to listen to someone breathe.

[Yep, that picture is what it looked like after the temperature went from 70 degrees to 19 degrees and the sky dropped two inches of ice on the ground with a dusting of snow. Was very slow going into work and the temperature dropped just a little more.]

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Ann said...

As always, Steve, incredibly giving and gracious words. God Bless, and thank you. May all be well in your world.

Anonymous said...

Stephen, I have learned so much about grief and how it is felt strongly for years from reading here. I am sorry when you and your family feel the pains. As you have said, grief hurts because you loved the person. I have never grieved anybody that I loved but I have never lost a parent or a sibling. I have never had a child. I don't know how I would function if I lost anybody close.

I made some remarks about your post at FMHW. I hope that you understood that it was actually a compliment when I said that the man that I have come to know here was not the stereotyped man of the blog. Of course, I knew your post was satire as you so clearly outlined it here.

Stephen said...

Ann, thanks.

Barb, I knew that was what you meant. Appreciated your comments at FMH.

Monica said...

Beautiful post. It is so true that those you love and cherish, both friends and family, carry you through the hardships of life.

Gef Resolution said...

Yes steve, I was a testimony of that. You really impacted my life by extending a helping hand at the right time. Remain blessed.

Anonymous said...

How did your children die?

Stephen said... provides the details. It was a rough five years.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry.