Or, should I say... Monday tea... without a picture? We had a good night at last with my son sleeping through the night and complaining when I turned on the kitchen light this morning to push the button on the coffee pot (he is sleeping on the sofa in the family room). That is more like what I'm used to. :)
It has not been easy on top of my own challenges but I also am so happy to be able to serve the Lord by serving my children. As I wrote my brother-in-law, it was good to have my tall young man need his Mommy again when he was in pain (not good that he was in pain, though). God gives us grace to go through whatever we need at the time.
So, what was I pondering on Friday? The word "bittersweet" kept coming back to me. I love the bittersweet we find in autumn, I'll need to do some research as to how it got its name. On Friday, I was thinking how the older I get, the more I understand the word... bittersweet.
It wasn't until Christopher was in recovery and we walked to my mom's favorite neighborhood restaurant that I thought of the family history in that hospital and neighborhood. I was born in that same hospital... as was Stephanie... as was my first grandchild. My father, mother, two siblings, and my first child passed away in the same building. Many memories...
My mother lived in this neighborhood after I was married. It was in a house only blocks away that Stephanie would visit Mamaw as a child. The neighborhood restaurant where we walked for lunch was her favorite place to go for a catfish dinner with my stepfather. We'd never been there before but as we enjoyed our lunch I could see why Mamaw loved it.
At the large, round table in the middle of the room was a group of men... some dressed as contractors, one in farmer's garb, and another in a three piece suit... from the conversation one could tell these were men who had been friends since their youth. Good plain food... good people... friendly faces.
On the way home I walked by the pond near the hospital and watched the ducks (they had to be cold!). My mother took me as a child to feed ducks at this same pond just as I took Stephanie when she would visit Mamaw. We moved back to the area when Christopher was a preschooler and Stephanie was in high school. Christopher and I spent many a morning bringing our nature study drawing books to the pond as part of our homeschooling studies and now he is in college.
Bittersweet... moments that were bitter at times and the memories become sweet. Memories of Mom and Dad, memories of the day I went into premature labor, very fond memories of young children and family picnics at nearby picnic tables... sweet events with a touch of bitterness at the thought of many who are no longer with us... hope that fills us to be together again someday. The memories flooding back to me were unanticipated and took me a bit by surprise... as if someone had taken my breath away for a moment.
We went back to this hospital to find Christopher out of Recovery and into Post Op. I held his hand as he looked around with that dazed look of one coming out of anesthetic. We had a couple challenges that afternoon. One particularly sweet moment was watching his evening nurse praying for him outside his door. (As a "thank you", I left my copy of the Elizabeth George book about the Proverbs 31 woman with her... after convincing her I'd already read it three times!) :)
Now I'm helping Christopher as he is walking from one side of the house to the other every hour. His surgeon has given his blessing to Christopher's meeting with the college president tomorrow to give a speech at an important community function. He could use more prayers to get through this as he is determined to be there.
I will return soon...