We do not exist for ourselves alone, and it is only when we are fully convinced of this fact that we begin to love ourselves properly and thus also love others. What do I mean by loving ourselves properly? I mean, first of all, desiring to live, accepting life as a very great gift and a great good, not because of what it gives us, but because of what it enables us to give to others. Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
Yes, I am still alive. I have really and truly neglected this little bloggy piece of real estate and I am so sorry. Is anyone even out there anymore? Yoo hoo!
I can't blame anyone for leaving, I have essentially ignored you. But not on purpose! If you are still here - thank you, thank you!
What a strange year this has been... One full of grace, yet one full of - well full of all the things that make grace. The gifts have been many, but the road to get there has not been smooth.
One year ago I was generally feeling unwell and in early July I entered the hospital, via that oh-so-fun-at-2am ER route. Good Lord, what was I thinking? Not in going to the ER, what was I thinking in ignoring my health and the pain I had been in?
That ate up most of the summer and then poof- it was fall and I was taking two grad school classes. Let's file that under the "mistakes were made" file because it really kicked my you know what and I was not really recovered yet. Add to that other activities, the women's retreat group at St. Edward's, general life matters and so forth.
It's ok, I'm cool - that is what I was thinking anyway.
Then the holidays zoomed by and I really felt sad about not fully enjoying them as I might have. It's ok, I'm cool. Did I really think that?
Fine, now it is January and I'm going to get it together! I have somehow (foolishly) registered for two classes again. After class #1 of the first class, I knew I would not do well in it, so I dropped it. (I was not, as the saying goes, "feelin' it.") The very next day I drop the class... awesomeness!
Two weeks later my sister-in-law, Mark's sister Olga, has surgery.
Then everything changes... she is going to die.
It is at this point that I really began to abandon the blog, which is understandable. What I also abandoned however, was my writing. What's wrong with me? One needs nutrition, sleep and exercise. In my life, I also need writing.
As some of you know, Olga died in March. We have continued to deal with this, an event which has had enormous reverberations, practical, spiritual, emotional, financial reverberations, in an on-going way. We do so clinging tightly to one another. Remember that grace part I mentioned at the beginning.
So here we are, slightly out of step calendar-wise but totally in step with otherwise, the Easter journey. Life, death, resurrection, new life. Lather, rinse, repeat.
About that Thomas Merton quote at the top. Isn't that what life is? If I have learned anything in this past year it is this - life is more about what we give to others. That sounds pretty simplistic. It is anything but.
So I am going to try to work my way back here. I am still over-committed, but working on whittling that down. Priorities must be re-established. I need to try to remember to breath. I can do this.
But I can't do it without you. I hope you are still there. Signs of life from here... are you there? I'm still here, I know someone is there. Thanks be to God!