More than enough

It has been one of those weeks. One of those weeks filled with bad news and sad news. The news has come by way of the phone and the television and the newspaper and the internet and in person and it has been incessant and unrelentingly awful, this past week.

It seems bad news has touched everyone I know and so many of those I don’t. Dear friends and mere acquaintances and complete strangers. People I talk to daily and those I will never meet. Hopes destroyed, lives cut short or forever altered. Disease, injury and death. Diagnoses pending and confirmed (god, that one hurt), ongoing treatment, mangled bodies, painful recovery and upcoming surgery. Anger, frustration, denial, miscommunication, dread, rage and grief. They have all torn through my life this week like a vile malevolent wind. Yet none of the news is mine, except by association. It is mine by caring. A painful privilege.

It has been one of those weeks when more than once I have woken up in the dark cold hours of the morning, in that time before the night softens to gray with the coming of dawn. I’ve lain there shrouded in blankets and blackness, knowing I won’t sleep again, wondering about life and fate and meaning. Trying to find the center of things, desperate to regain my balance. Waiting for the familiar slap of the newspaper at the end of the driveway, the sound flooding me with relief that the new day has arrived and the night was not interminable as I had feared.

It has been one of those weeks when I found myself wondering, where is the good? Where are joy and laughter and peace? I think you have to look harder sometimes to find those things. They are not loud and needy. They don’t rip at your heart or punch you in the gut, demanding attention. Sometimes the good stuff requires you to sit quietly and wait, to look closely and appreciate its subtlety.

It was there during a phone call with my daughter, who asked what was wrong and why did I sound sad. I told her that people I cared about were hurting. We spoke of other things, but she ended the phone call by saying, “I love you, mommy” and I told her I loved her, too. It was several hours later, in the dark time before dawn, that I realized how long it has been since she called me mommy instead of mom and how very much I had needed to hear it just then.

It was there in the cold wet nose and large brown eyes of my dog when he came in and nudged me earlier this morning, reminding me it was time for his breakfast, that I’d been awake for hours while he slept on, that I’d been writing long enough. And because I looked, I saw it there, the simple unconditional love and the absolute trust that I will take care of him.

It was there in an emailed picture of fresh snow framing a hibiscus blossom that made me smile through the tears. Thank you, Booko. I hope you don’t mind that I share it here. Perhaps there are others who would welcome evidence that there is beauty and life to be found in even the most stark landscape.

The good stuff is there, I know it is. I need to sit quietly and be patient, waiting for its return as if it were a wild creature startled away by a loud noise or a sudden movement. If I pay attention, I won’t overlook it upon its return, won’t fail to recognize that its presence is made more dear by the cost of its absence.

I know I will find it again, and soon. But for the next little while, I think I just need to be sad.

Because it has been one of those weeks.


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10 responses to “More than enough

  1. Anonymous

    thank you,for so eloquently putting into words what so many of us are feeling.
    Quiet reflection brings so many things into the right perspective.
    Glad you are taking some time for yourself.


  2. Mary

    Times like this I tend to curl up in a ball and not communicate at all. This was a good reminder that I’m not alone feeling this stuff.
    And I like the photo too. (Thanks to Booko.)


  3. Jennifer Talty


    All I can say is thank you for listening to me when I needed you most. Thank you for holding my hand and helping me through this rough road.

    Hugs and kisses,



  4. bon cheri bomb

    That’s what friends do, Jen, you know that because you’ve sure done it enough times for me. They hold your hand or let you lean on their shoulder or give you a swift kick in the ass. Or they try to make you laugh when you’re sad. Sometimes they even write sappy-as-hell comments on your blog. Whatever works.

    Hugs and kisses right back.


  5. andi

    You are so very good at putting words down. You have beautifully written what I was feeling. And it has eased some of the tension in my shoulders just to know it has been written down, even though not by me. I’m not much of a hugger, but if I could, I would hug you now.


  6. orangehands

    it’s good to be sad when you need to. you’re right, it’s been one of those weeks.

    beautiful picture.


  7. dee

    You’ve managed to capture it perfectly.
    And I know what you mean about “Mommy”. It’s just the best, isn’t it?


  8. Cary

    BCB, the grace in the moment? That is YOU. Lending a kind ear, a friendly word, a supporting shoulder. That is the beauty and grace in life. Despite ourselves, we each connect, and through those connections find peace and hope.

    Wishing the best for you and yours.


  9. McB

    I like that “the grace of the moment.” A beautiful phrase. And yes, sometimes you just have to be quiet and listen with your spirit instead of your ears for a change.



  10. Margaret

    Beautifully said. Of course.

    I think we forget in these PC times, that it’s OK to feel sad, depressed, angry, or something other than blissfully happy. Somehow, we’re “supposed” to be happy/cheerful/whatever all the time, and when we’re not, it’s seen as an oddity rather than a shift of emotion.

    Embrace the sadness. Let it flow around you like a warm breeze.

    Then one day, it’ll be gone.