As I look back over the past 9 weeks since my whole life was rearranged by Hurricane Termination, I am really thankful for many things, and these were not things I would have paid much attention to before Termination. The storm brought them to the fore. When tornadoes ripped through the midwest recently, I remember a reporter pulling a life preserver out of the front sea of a car and pointed to a boat about a half mile away explaining how the tornado had picked up the life preserver and put it down in the car next to where he was standing. In the same way…
#558 I am thankful that my storm has done the same thing in my life. It has taken pieces of it and shifted them all around. It made some pieces, long hidden under piles of work rubbish, surface when the work rubbish was cleared away. Phone calls that never would have been made before the storm came into my house. Supportive friends that I didn’t know were supportive while I worked beside them rose to the occasion. Others who I knew well enough to have their names and numbers in my cell phone were conspicuously absent.
#559 I am thankful for true friends and knowing who they are. Some risked their own welfare to take me to lunch, respond to me on public media like Facebook, and make “play dates” just to walk, ride bikes or sip tea. Patients came to my house to visit me. That was a shocker! Some bearing gifts. All making me believe I made a difference in their lives and asking if they could do anything to help me. They already had.
#560 I am thankful for all the faceless people with kind phone voices from the unemployment office, the Department of Labor and Industry and Human Rights Commission who used their expertise to facilitate navigation of a path unknown to me after having worked for the past 50 years (I had a paper route at age 10).
#561 I am thankful for God’s loving sense of humor. At one scary juncture in the journey dog-lover Dawn was met at the door of the facility by an Australian Sheep dog who sniffed me and gave his ok that I pass. To me it was a sign from God that everything was going to be ok and that I was in the right place.
#562 I am so thankful for my sister. She had just been vindicated from being fired from her job of 35 years when I lost mine. It took 2 years for the truth to come out that freed her, and because she had walked the path before me, she knew my mental state, the difficulty of having to navigate the complex system before me and how to make up for the losses I incurred: medical insurance, investment opportunities, unemployment rules and regulations, etc.
#563 I am thankful for a friend with business saavy who helped with important timing logistics. Without Pam and my sister, I would have missed important deadlines and opportunities.
#564 I am so very thankful for my community of cyber-friends who helped me think through what I was feeling on a daily basis. Suggestions, prayers, words in season and gifts of words in the form of counsel, poetry and music helped make some sense of a very dark time.
#565 I am thankful for a new worldview. This experience has taught me that my two standards for knowing whether or not you are going in the right direction:1) making sense and 2) contributing to the welfare of others are not consistently good standards. Many things do not make sense to us, but they are what the all-knowing God wants (building the ark is a good example). I also had to face the fact that God does not always place us on the contributing side. Sometimes we are to receive. My children all got this right away when my job ended. They started paying for everything when we were together and they didn’t expect the renewals on their children’s dance lessons, zoo and aquarium memberships or summer camp tuitions paid. They all said they just wanted to spend time with me, “Sometimes, Mom, you aren’t the giver.”
With the Multitudes this Monday, I give joyful thanks,