When I whisper the word mother aloud I feel a sense of responsibility. When I say "child of an alcoholic" I feel lost and afraid, confused and very sad. When I say "friend" I feel caring, valued, sometimes overwhelmed. Every time I ask myself another question, I place myself on a different pathway in life, have a different set of lessons to learn- opportunities to give.
Johnny's being on hospice has caused me to spend a lot of nights thinking about my life. I often find myself viewing it as a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle and get frustrated when pieces don't quite fit. This was how it was last night, after the sun began its journey to the other side of the world. I got Johnny settled down for the night and stood on our patio staring at God's nightlights. Then it was, that I recalled the beautiful story I am now going to share with you.
There is a tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted- not from when they're born, not from when they're conceived- but from the day that the child was a thought in the mother's mind.
And when a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. And after she's heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child's father and teaches him the song. And then, when they make love to physically conceive the child, some of the time they sing the song of the child, as a way to invite the child to come.
And then, when the mother is pregnant, the mother teaches that child's song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old woman and the people around her sing the child's song to welcome it. And then, as the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child's song. If the child falls, or hurts its knee, someone picks the child up and sings it's song to it. Or perhaps if the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty--then as a way of honoring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song.
And it goes this way through their life, in marriage; the songs are sung, together. And finally, when the child is lying in bed, ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song, and they sing, for the last time, the song to this person.
What is your song, I ask again? Do you have one to comfort yourself, to encourage yourself? I"m not sure if this post will make sense to anybody reading it, but that's okay. It makes sense to me, is filling a need I have at the moment, an enormous need for comforting, which is why I went outside to gaze at God's nightlights; always lit so I can find my way home.
There is nothing quite as comforting as staring up at the starry heavens. Doing that enables me to see just how small I really am, and just how great HE is- how absolutely Wonderful!
For the love, friendship- support.
Love you much,