LET IT GO SOMETIMES
When I was in the hospital for 8 days, someone later said to me, “My, you must have been bored.” But no. Often with the sick, there are vast amounts of life just swallowed up by sleep, and the awake times can be filled with the slow movements of daily living, such as taking a shower or changing one’s clothing. Or pain and sickness, with no care for anything else.
Sometimes there are tiny bits of goodness to savor--pieces that so rarely come to those who are healthy and raging through life with other concerns. Bits of quiet peacefulness we all long for, but are usually too busy to have. And I’m very grateful for these. Recently I had two of these lovely moments I will remember for a long time.
Our own family has made a tradition of a ham dinner for ourselves on Christmas Eve. This job has always been mine, and I enjoy doing these kinds of thing for my family, even if there are often grumbles when we try to fit this in amongst OTHER traditions we have for the day.
This year was different: my husband and younger son would do the cooking, under my direction. I sat in the kitchen and directed, sometimes step-by-step: how to make the cheesecake, how many potatoes to peel, and what pan to use for the ham….
But eventually, I became too tired, and had to retreat to the living room recliner--with the blankets close about, the cat on my lap, the tree lit up, and gentle Christmas music playing. And leave them to it.
It was an odd experience for me, to physically and mentally let go of the worry and care and work I have always done. To let go and REST and to be at peace. Sickness has enabled me to “let go” more easily, and I hope I will be able to keep some of this in the future when I am well.
Today there was another moment like this to cherish. Having been ill and in pain, I took medication that made me so sleepy I was unable to properly say good-bye to the rest of the family who was heading out to church. I slept in the chair all morning—blankets close about, the cat on my lap, the tree lit….
When I woke up, it was quiet except for the clocks. Outside, snow was falling in gentle, fat flakes, and I lay there doing nothing, just…being. And it was really good.
#2 on the list of “Top Five Regrets of the Dying”: I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. May we all be able to remember this and be able to slow down in our daily living, NOW. Hard to do—don’t I know it—but so needful.