Today, I really felt, maybe for the first time, all the newness and possibility that a new year can hold. I am full of hope for 2015. I am, I am. I don’t want to forget last year, I just want to stop letting sorrow define me, a trap I have fallen into these past five months.
Last Sunday, the priest began his homily with a sentence or two about the fact that only God gives life and only God allows it to be taken away. The rest of the homily, about the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, seemed unrelated to those words, but maybe I just wasn’t paying close enough attention to make the connections. Strangely, in my opinion, he closed with the famous words from the book of Job, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
I felt like those words were meant for me. A gentle, “Accept it, Ginny.”
A couple days later, I decided that maybe I ought to put away some of the daily reminders of Sarah, thinking that maybe it would help ease the sadness that still strikes so often. And I swear, within moments of having that thought, I heard Keats downstairs on his violin playing “All Creatures of our God and King” by ear. He never plays that song, never. It was Sarah’s hymn. And those notes rising up the stairs, they were a reminder of all the little miracles that have surrounded all of us who love Sarah in these months since she died. I think we could write a book. I don’t want these little reminders of her to stop coming, not only because I don’t want to forget my friend, but because the nature of them is so intimately tied to the fact that God loves us.
A time will come when Sarah’s memory will make me smile rather than cry. The second I heard Keats playing her hymn that night, I was reminded of that truth, and in that moment, I did smile. I smiled at the miracle of it all, the miracles both big and small that arise from tragedy. Someday those same notes will remind me of my dear friend, and I will think of how blessed I was to have known her while she was here. Gratitude will gradually replace the sorrow. Because that is the only way.
Life is good. It really is.
Happy New Year, friends. Happy New Year to you all. Thank you for being here, thank you for reaching out. Truly, I can’t thank you all enough.
p.s. Pie! You must make that butterscotch pie! (The photo of the recipe is above, in case you missed it. The recipe is from Cooking from Quilt Country.) I made a basic graham cracker crust (substituting crushed gluten free Mi’Del gingersnaps), subbed Bob’s Red Mill 1 for 1 gluten free flour in the pie itself, and topped with just a little homemade whipped cream. We ate it this evening, and it was DELICIOUS! I do so love pie.