Friday, August 7, 2015

Two Clouds

When I lost the phone that held the recording of my firstborn's heartbeat--that very first one we heard while he was still  a dream-come-true in utero--I cried. 

Today, when I mentioned it to the phone guy to explain why maybe a smart phone with "a cloud" to back everything up could be a good idea for me, he agreed.

"I know where you're coming from," he said.
"DO you?" I asked pointedly, surprising myself by sounding incredulous.
"Yes.  For me, it was a voicemail."

Because he was sort of walking into an emotional landmine.  Me with my mom's old phone she had just given me for my birthday. The one that still had her apps and pictures and ringtones on it.  The one that I didn't want to change at all because it was my mom's, but still wanted to use because, well, she had given it to me.

And then this stylish, self-assured, tech-savvy guy half my age looked straight at me and said sincerely,   "It's really rough.  And I really get it."

Suddenly he wasn't just some cool-guy salesperson and I some lady who stepped off the wagon train wanting to join the modern world.

We were also two humans who know part of the story.  The story of love, loss, and things we never get back and people we'll have always.

I cried.  Just a little.  And his eyes glassed up-just a little. (because he was also still the cool-guy).

"Thanks for meeting me right where I was tonight," I told him.  "You're headed great places because you get people even better than phones.  And I really appreciate that."

"Anytime," he said, and I realized he meant it as he locked the door behind me because I had stayed past closing.

I sat in my car and thought about heartbeats gone, and three amazing kids still with us today.  I thought about a virtual cloud full of pictures, and a great cloud of witnesses that surrounds us.

I sat in the story of love and loss and things we never get back and people we'll have always:

Here, there, or in the air.

"Thank you for this phone," I called to tell my mom.  "Of course,"  she said.  "Maybe it will give you a few more tools at your disposal."

Tools and treasures.  In my pocket.  In the cloud.  Here, there and in the air.

So you can keep me
Inside the pocket
Of your ripped jeans
Holdin' me closer 
'Til our eyes meet
You won't ever be alone.
Wait for me to come home.

~ Photograph, by Ed Sheeran


Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Pineapple for Mother's Day

This is what I read to my family when I gave the moms in it pineapples today for Mother's Day.  Maybe you'd like to read why I would want to give one to you, too.

A pineapple doesn't seem like a typical Mother's Day gift, but then, there are no books to tell you what is just the right thing.

What is just the right thing for my mom whose job has fewer years ahead of her than behind her?
What do I get for the mom whose life intersects mine because the men we each love are father and son?
What gift honors my older sister, the mom who blazes the motherhood trail in this family and leaves a path anyone would be proud to follow?
What's the perfect gift for my younger sister, the mom whose next child doesn't grow inside her womb, but in her heart?
 What would be the perfect gift for you?

Maybe a pineapple is as good as anything else.  I think a pineapple can be a little picture of our lives.

The pineapple has its sharp parts. When the  grocery checker moved it along she exclaimed, "Ouch! That really hurts!"
And so does life.

The pineapple is sweet.  Sometimes, surprisingly so.
And so are our lives.

The pineapple follows a plan written into its very design--the Fibonacci sequence.  Its parts and pieces are arranged in a beautifully designed way.
And so are our lives.   (even if we can't see it right away)

I recently learned that the pineapple has an interesting history as the international symbol of hospitality.  It represents generous welcome.
And isn't that how we want to live our lives? When we are open, honest and vulnerable with others--when we strip away our prickly self-protections, isn't that when the sweetest things happen?

So moms,
this is what I know.

Life is hard.  It really hurts.
Life is sweet.  It's really good.
Life is wild, but it is ordered by a creative God.

May God bless you in this hard, painful, sweet, wild, God-led life as a mom, today and always.