Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I read somewhere that the average person spends five years of their life waiting.

Recently I’ve spent a lot of time learning the art of waiting, and in a country that loves numbers, flow charts and power point graphics I wonder if there is a statistic for the average time spent waiting for intangible things.

Oh, I’ve spent hours and hours waiting on the phone or in a line somewhere. And, like my other linemates, I’ve rolled my eyes and sighed, standing quietly, resigned to my fate as a “waiter.” Occasionally I’ve been guilty of exhaling thru puffed out cheeks and grumbling about the wasted time.

I’ve rushed through life -- in a hurry to grow up, to have a career, to accumulate possessions. I didn’t have time to wait. I had to be there now; had to have it now; had to discover it now. Waiting was for those who didn’t have anything better to do or the wherewithal to seemingly bend time to their will. I looked at anyone patiently waiting and somehow felt superior. I had appointments to keep! I had a career! I had a life! I was going places!

Ah, the folly of youth.

Yet, even in middle age I still felt the need to hurry – to not wait. I couldn’t wait for that next promotion, for the kids to get bigger, for parties, vacations, the next new thing to come along.

I am now aware there is a huge difference between waiting and WAITING….

I wait at the deli counter
I ‘WAIT’ for the Doctor to call

I wait in the line that snakes around the corner at DMV
I ‘WAIT’ for my child to come home from his first solo drive in the car

I wait while a disembodied voice tells me “Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line - your call will be answered by the next available representative.”
I ‘WAIT’ for the call that says I’m a grandmother

I wait for my lunch order to arrive
I ‘WAIT’ for test results that may change my life forever.

Wait time is now something I look forward to. Waiting gives me time to stop the world for a moment. It forces me to just breathe; to take a moment to think, to reflect.

I’ve made mental apologies to all of those I had brushed aside or looked down on. I am somewhat ashamed of the ignorance and arrogance of my thoughts and youth. I now know the difference between waiting and WAITING – and I’ve learned to appreciate the wait.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


As I sat on my porch this Easter morning, wrapped in the warmth of the sun and the beauty of the day, I said a prayer of thanksgiving.
I thanked the Lord for the beauty that surrounds me, for the joyful sounds of the birds singing their melodious tribute to the day. I thanked Him for the wonderful flowers blooming, their resplendent array of color assuring the cycle of life and the resurgence of spring.
Most of my thankfulness was given to Him for the struggles that George and I have shared these long, hard months. Now, that may seem odd to be thankful for, but these times have brought about such an awakening in us. Something I am not sure we'd have ever been privileged to experience otherwise.
The days have been so very hard. At times the darkness seemed to encompass my soul. The fear, the pain, the unknown, all seemed to overwhelm me, wrap me in a dense fabric of despair from which I sometimes felt there was no escape.
But through it all I was learning. Humility, forgiveness, caring, strength, wisdom. All these things I thought I was already on board with took on new meaning.
I thought my heart was as open to my husband as it ever could be, but facing the fear of losing him and becoming his caregiver has expanded that love more than I could ever, ever have hoped for.
God - in His infinite wisdom - placed challenges in my path that allowed me to see George for the truly precious gift He gave me.
Oh, don't get me wrong - there were times when I could have willfully choked "The Commander" (as his friends and co-workers call him) for his actions and non-actions. There is nothing worse than trying to convince a hard-headed German male that something is good for him when he's already made up his mind against it.
We've faced so much together, entwining the fabric of our beings,strengthening the ties that have made us one and holding fast to the belief that we would get through this together. We are genuinely thankful for this special power we have been given.
It has allowed us both to overcome so much.
Yesterday, that special power, that faith, and that love was rewarded with the best of possible results. George's PET scan was clear - he is cancer free!
So, while the world - and I - celebrate the resurrection, the renewal and the hope, George and I are also celebrating Thanksgiving.
I think I'll have some Turkey with my Ham and green beans today :-)!