There was a former work colleague who lived a life of faith.
Invitations extended to daily mass, philosophical debates about the eucharist and eternal life, all while sipping coffee at Clementine’s.
“So I should thank him for you and I meeting?” Matt spoke last night.
Instantly reminded of the role others played in leading us to this life lived here.
The connections that covered me in love and brought me a husband and three more beautiful girls.
In a world that teaches us to wear independence as a badge of honor we ignore the truth- it is only by walking with others that we are able to understand who we are called to be.
Matthew is an arborist by trade.
He warned me once about the fate of some neighborhood trees. He spoke of how they would fall.
A new house in our community had been built; tall pines cut down to make room for it.
Where there had once been a rich forest only a few remained.
Matthew told me of how the trees that had grown accustomed to the shelter provided by others would now be left vulnerable.
No sooner had the first major storm passed than one of the remaining pines found itself on the brand new roof.
I think of Matthew’s words often.
The analogy fitting.
As we stand two years into building our family, I am reminded of how we predicted the rains and the winds, but underestimated the forest that surrounded us.
They can’t stop the storm, but they bear the brunt of it’s beating.
During a week when the forecast is particularly brutal, I find myself filled with gratitude for the gifts of those who stand beside us. May we one day be their forest.
January 12, 2020
Dear Audrey Hope,
It was just last month when I realized you had made that transition from girl to young woman. We were waiting for you to perform at your recital. I caught you in your chair taking deep breathes. I assumed your were nervous. When I asked you got a silly smile on your face and told me you were doing the breathing exercises your teacher had taught you. Then you walked up front, played your guitar and belted out your song. Your confidence in your craft was impressive, but more than that it was your independence. You had this. Why would I doubt?
So today beautiful girl you turn thirteen and I can’t but help remember the baby you were. Your Papi said you looked like a cabbage patch doll and with the round face and big blue eyes you really did.
You’ve been a gift from the moment your graced our world. You have always been easygoing.
You roll with the punches and you teach your rigid Momma to do the same.
Your world is big and your heart is even bigger.
Thank you for loving all of us so effortlessly.
The way you reach out to cuddle and care even when we are at our prickliest, is pretty special.
This year will hold great things for you, I just know it.
Keep in mind I am along for the ride. There will be more date nights, conversations about good books and dance parties in the kitchen.
I love you baby girl.
I am so proud to be your Momma.
PS- In appreciation for both the words and the talent behind the guitar, it had to be Cat Stevens for this year’s birthday song.