Thursday, October 20, 2011

Back Porch Therapy

Time flies when your having fun, so much so that you forget to update your blog.  Much has transpired since my last post that I could write for hours but I won't.  Just a few of the highlights of life here in the Green family.... The hubby had surgery, it went really well, all cancer removed, all scans clear, no further treatment needed.  That is making an extremely long story short but we are more than a little excited about this and thank GOD for His blessings.

The percentage of the American population that deals with cancer at some time or another in their own life or a loved one is probably close to 100%.  Therefore most people have had the opportunity to think long and hard about mortality and the value of life.  I am no different.  I have been profoundly changed by this whole situation and I believe God has held my hand along this path of life and will continue to do so. I also think it is imperative that we share any understanding He enlightens us with, hoping others will learn without having to learn through pain.  Thus this blogpost.

My life's suffering is quite minimal in the big scheme of things, as are many Americans that consistently have food on their table, clothes on their back, and a roof over their head.  But as all things are relative I have had a tiny taste of it enough to think about those that suffer much worse.  A few weeks ago I sat with two women that I happen to love dearly on my back porch swing.  Through the course of conversation we began to discuss the unimaginable suffering they have both endured, each has lost a husband and a son within a matter of a couple of years.  One has recently remarried and is extremely happy in that relationship, go figure she is treated like a queen, deservingly so, and I asked her if she is happier now than she used to be.  She quickly but quietly said "no, I would trade these days for those in a second".  This was not an insult to her wonderful new husband but a testament to the family she had, she lost so much.  I then asked if she had realized back then that she was so happy and her response was also "no".  She and her wonderful daughter have began the slow work of putting the pieces of their lives back together but they both know that two pieces are missing and are irreplaceable.  That conversation shook me to my very core.  I want to realize in each day, each moment just how happy I am.  I want to live in the moment, sure with great hopes for the future and a profound appreciation for what my past has taught me, but totally present in the NOW of my life.
My back porch.  Where I tell all my secrets and am happy to listen to anyone else tell theirs.

I read a blogpost that inspired more of this thought that focused on the thought "this too shall pass".  How often I have used those words to encourage myself and others when going through difficult times but this post had a slightly different take on that idea.  What if while our children are young and do simple things that we love or don't love we thought those simple words, this too shall pass.  Maybe we could find a place in our memory that took a snapshot of the joys of that moment, to be stored forever!











This morning while having coffee on a dear friends back porch, which is so beautiful I am going to post a picture of it, we were having a conversation about this very topic.  She is an avid scrap booker so this story was very profound for her.  While reading a Karen Kingsbury book she stumbled upon a line that discussed the idea that what if not only scrap booked on our children's "firsts", first steps, haircut, lost tooth, etc., we also could scrap book their "lasts".  With tears stinging both of our eyes, she commented, "what if we knew it was the last time they would be snuggling in bed with us?".  That was a great example for me because my youngest is about to turn 9 and he has gone from coming to snuggle with me every morning to only doing it a couple of times a week.  Sadly there will come a day, hopefully not too soon, that he won't snuggle at all.  Those moments pass not just from losing a child but from the simple passage of time that they become adolescents, then teenagers, and eventually adults.  I don't want to miss appreciating these times.


One last thought and I will hush up with my "Hallmark" talk.  Not only do I want to focus on my children during this precious time in their lives but also my friends, which includes my husband and most of my family.  They are the relationships that, when nurtured, will help me survive when my children realize there are other women in this world that they would rather snuggle.  I love all of my friends so much!  I pray that God continues to bless with back porch conversations that keep me focused on the things in life that truly matter.

I have a prayer request also.....one of my very close friends is fighting illness.  She has had to have a kidney removed and half of her bladder plus lots of scar tissue.  She has been confined to her home for a while now and I can't imagine how hard that is.  Her children are teenagers and need her but they are amazing and helpful.  Please pray that she have a quick recovery and that her remaining kidney would begin to function at 100%.  Her name is Tina Eccles, she gave me permission to tell that.  If you would like to send her an encouraging word let me know and I will give you her email address.

Many blessings,
Nicole

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