I would not be a good night-shift employee. I find it almost impossible to sleep during the day, and instead end up watching multiple episodes of “Jon and Kate plus Eight” — perhaps their life makes me feel like mine is simple. Anyway, the lack of sleep at night coupled with little sleep during the day led to the inevitable crash of my body this week, thus the delay in posting.
Abbie is doing wonderfully as we cruise through this final week with the cast. She will be getting it off on Tuesday morning, 11/18. I told a friend tonight that it is like waiting for a baby to arrive – the last few days drag much more slowly as the anticipation builds. I am just so anxious to SEE those little legs, to be able to massage and stretch them, and to begin this journey of the Fresh Start with her legs.
The previous post was titled “Sweet Day.” The day after that I felt like writing one called “Crazy Night.” Abbie has decided that she wants to talk and play at night, usually beginning around 2am. She will start talking (Abbie-talk: vocalizing, not words) to me in a sweet little sing-song voice. I lay on the floor and say, “Oh, Abbie – I hear you. I love to hear your voice, but it’s sleep time!” This will go on for a few minutes, and then the sweet girl is out the door, with Bossy Girl replacing her. The tone of her voice changes and it’s no longer viable for me to stay on the floor. She wants to talk face to face and play. Whoa — be careful what your pray for. Seeing her smile will always make me smile, but by 3:30am I am begging her to go back to sleep. So, my sleepless nights have not been a burden, but they have been tiring!
I often gird myself by repeating simple little phrases that deal with an area I am trying to strengthen or focus on. When I run I often repeat “I am a finisher” as I try not to whimp out. Lately, as I struggle to prioritize my time the phrase has been “Relationships Matter.” This is where I want to invest my energy and attention, and where I am so often distracted by a “to-do list” and other goals. It always strikes me that with the tiniest bit of investment — 2 little words — things change.
Last week I saw a cousin, Mark, whom I had not seen since the summer of 1976. We were much shorter then, I didn’t dye my hair and he didn’t shave. He was here with his wife Brenda and the two oldest of their six children, Savannah and Kassadee because Brenda was competing in the international Sweet Adelines competition. I had no clue what this was all about, and was quickly introduced to a whole new subculture. Wow! Brenda’s 150 woman chorus, the Melodeers from Northbrook (Chicago-area) WON, and are the champions of the world when it comes to 4-part harmony. I was also treated to a performance by Brenda’s quartet, just for me, in front of the convention center — I felt like the Queen of England! The best part, though, was having Mark, Brenda and the girls over for dinner, and getting to catch up. Family is a precious thing, and having this string retied after 32 years was more profound than I had suspected it would be. They also gave up beach time on Sunday to come to Matt and RJ’s football game before going to the airport. Now, THAT is family!!
On Tuesday the Cheshire family, all ten of them, filled Abbie’s room with love and music as they sang praise songs accompanied by Dad playing the guitar. With Walt’s Austrian roots, they make me think of the Von Trapps. They have been so thoughtful — there’s not a week that goes by that Abbie doesn’t get a card, a picture, or a surprise from them. I have never met another family like them, and most likely never will. Genevieve and I were in tears watching them surround Abbie’s bed.
The relationship that matters most to me, of course, is with my Heavenly Father, and even there I have to focus on not letting the time slip by without intentionally building it. There are times, like lately, where I feel a bit adrift and out of routine — lazy, tired, distracted, all of the above. At times like this I am especially grateful for His grace — nothing I can do to make Him love me more OR less. What a resting place for my soul. I pray that you also would be finding great joy in the relationships in your life, the people around you, and the Father who loves you without end.
Three days and a wake-up for cast bound Abbie — Freedom is near!!