I would just like to say thank you to everyone who’s reached out to us these crazy last few weeks. I am especially indebted to those of you who answered my pleas for help, as well as everyone who picked up my psychic SOS’s and called, texted, emailed or dropped off food every time I was at the end of my rope.
And I do mean every single time. Honestly, it was uncanny how often I’d send up a silent plea for help, and soon after, someone would call to see how I was holding up. Or offer to have me and the kids over. Or just listen to me vent about how hard it was to manage my mother’s health care while single-parenting two young kids, one of who was in the midst of an incredibly bumpy transition to kindergarten.
For the first time in my life, I understand what it’s like to be part of the sandwich generation. And man, is it a lot of work. Work we might not be able to survive without the help and support of our friends and our community and everybody else out there who gives a damn.
Like my son’s kindergarten teacher, who went out of her way to bestow one of those special kindergarten-helper awards on Nico the day after his grandfather passed away. And the woman who made a point of telling me how much she appreciated Gabriel’s laughter during the memorial (after Ken and I unsuccessfully tried to keep the kids quiet during the two-hour service that began, by the way, an hour after their normal bedtime). And, of course, our amazing sitter Carissa, who provided my kids with a steady diet of love and compassion, especially on the days I wasn’t able to do it myself.
Who knew so many miracles could come out of such a yucky time?
As a friend said to me in a recent email, “it’s not things, but this shared experience, the enormous power of human connection that gives our lives meaning and perspective.”
When asked, I have said that my call to professional ministry was inspired by the startling and to me miraculous abundance of caritas made available after my first husband, Drew, died. Friends, neighbors, strangers , took care of us, and with such generosity that I can’t think of that painful time in my life without remembering also their absurdly lavish gifts of love. And so it was love, not loss, I was called to honor with my ministry, love that I wished to explore, participate in, and cultivate and through my work (9).
If all this isn’t enough to turn you into a raving born-again, I don’t know what is.
Next up: The Chore Wars, a post I wrote last month, before the shit hit the fan.