As we wrap up a weekend full of friends and food and parties, I can’t help but be so very, very grateful for how blessed we are. We live in a place of abundance, and our lives are the better for it. Yes, we have an abundance of warmth and shelter and food, but that is not the abundance I’m talking about. What I am talking about goes far beyond material abundance and is, in fact, not at all dependent on things. Our abundance goes so much deeper than that, and life just wouldn’t be the same without it.
We are blessed with an abundance of family, both our own little foursome and our extended family. Over the past few weeks as we’ve started solidifying holiday plans and the phone calls have been flying thick and fast, I can’t help but be grateful that we are surrounded by so very many people who love us so deeply and always will.
We are blessed, too, with an abundance of friends. Some, we have known for more than twenty years. Some, for months, but they have managed (in that magical way some people do) to slide right in to a place in our hearts and I just know that they will be friends for a long, long time to come. Some we know through work, but they have slowly (and sometimes not so slowly) shifted from being colleagues to being a dear and much-loved part of our lives. Still others, we met for the first time last night, as they come attached to children who are classmates of my children, and yet once the first few shy moments passed, they joined in joyfully as we ate and talked and laughed and sang as if no one was listening at our annual Christmas carolling party.
We are blessed with an abundance of creativity, and enough hours in our days to act upon our creative impulses (thanks in large part to the very few hours we choose to give to the television). We are doubly and triply and quadrupally blessed to have an abundance of young friends and two precious and newly four-year-old nieces who always join in our adventures with great bucket-fulls of enthusiasm when we say things like “Have you ever made bread?” or “Do you want to make some Christmas ornaments?” or “Would you like to go for a walk in the woods?” or “Would you like to help us decorate the little bitty tree on the fireplace mantle?” Friends who are willing and eager to join in your adventuring, no matter what kind, are absolutely golden. Adventures are always more fun with friends.
We are blessed beyond measure to have had The Man We Call Dad home with us, sharing meals and mornings and movie nights and board games and birthday parties and chores and Christmas shopping and stocking hanging and tree-top angel placing and story-reading and loving and laughing and laughing and laughing.
We are blessed beyond measure to have children who have a healthy sense of wonder, a generous dose of creativity, a burgeoning musical talent (and, for the first time this year, a surprising and completely delightful outpouring of spontaneous public performances on both piano and baritone), a deep love of reading, an even deeper love of learning, and a tendency to talk your ear off in their enthusiasm for a particular subject or another.
We are blessed to have children with hearts that hold a love that runs strongly through the both of them. So strongly, in truth, that on the way home from the mall one day, they made my heart ache with the sweetness of it. We were in the car, headed for home, and I was hurting rather badly. Faced with a choice between giving in to the grief and frustration of it or pushing back against it as hard as I could, I rather facetiously plagiarized the little Golden book of Peter Pan — the part where you clap your hands if you believe in fairies — and said “Clap your hands if you want to cure fibromyalgia,” and my sweet darlings started clapping even before I had fully finished the sentence.
K then asked so softly “Did that work, Mama?” and I could hear in the softness of his words and the careful way he asked and the absolute hush from the backseat as they held their breaths… they believed — just for that moment — that somehow, magically, it just might have worked. I tried to answer, but I couldn’t talk past the lump in my throat. Faced with Mama’s temporary muteness, The Man We Call Dad told them he thought it made Mama’s heart feel better.
So they clapped again and again and again, all three of them, each clap a heartfelt with that I could be better, and they didn’t stop until I had tears of love and joy and sadness all mixed together on my cheeks and I knew beyond a doubt that I was blessed beyond measure to be loved so very much by such very special people.
There has been so very much joy and laughter and friends and family and love in our lives, and we are so much the better for it. Life, with all its imperfections and trials and frustrations and grief is so much easier to live when you live with an abundance of blessings great and small. We are blessed. We are very, incredibly, amazingly, wonderfully blessed with an abundance of all that is important in life, and I am ever so grateful.