One thing 2021 taught my husband and me is that people really are kind. And they care. And they bring light.
If you read my posts the past two days, you know that my husband and I faced a really rough year so far. There were times, I didn't know if he'd make it. There were times, I honestly didn't care if I made it or not. In the darkest of those times, people shone light into our home and our hearts. Kindness.
During our three-week nightmare with Covid-19, meals, medications, soup, violets, and even a bag of tangerines were placed in our front entryway. Some were from family members and neighbors. Some from church friends. Some from people we hardly knew. These gestures were light to us, my friends. Hope.
From that time and beyond, there were text messages and phone calls, cards and notes, flowers... concern, caring, and love. Light.
Others shed tears for us/with us. Some made us laugh. Shelter.
After Covid, when it was safe to be together again, there were visits. People came and spent time with my husband so I could get a break. That probably meant the most to me, because as someone who values her alone time, their visits helped me to breathe again. Air.
When I'd share my heart on Facebook, so many responded. So many. And that, too, meant the world to me. It helped me to not feel as isolated. I read the messages to my husband. Sometimes he would cry. Other times he would smile. Every time, he felt a little less alone in his suffering. Community.
During the month of May, I started to lose hope. I vacillated in my faith. I could no longer pray. Life was a burden and I saw little sense in it all. My purpose, other than caring for my husband, was gone and my routine was drudgery. Despite all of the light, I chose to focus on the darkness. It was an awful time during which I no longer recognized myself. Not only was the husband I knew gone, but I was gone, too. I felt empty. I had nothing left to give. I simply went through the motions. Bitterness.
Coming out on the other side, I've learned many lessons. One of them was an old lesson I'd learned over 30 years ago after my first husband died. It seems that sometimes all that God requires of us is that we endure. In the book of James, Chapter 1, verses 2-4 (NASB), he writes, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have it's perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." Endurance.
It's August now. Those awful months are behind us. Next week, we'll celebrate our anniversary and it will have new meaning. The bitterness is gone and we have so much to celebrate. For one thing, we endured. Others shone light for us through the tunneled darkness and we came out on the other side. To me, there's only one word for that: Miracle.
Thank you to all the light carriers out there. What you do means the world to someone, even if you don't know it. And sometimes that light comes disguised as a simple bag of tangerines.
Now stay tuned next week and beyond for news and tips and giveaways! Green Grandma's back and she couldn't be happier!