February 25, 2016

the lines

I looked in the mirror at myself.

What happened?

My fingers gently felt along my forehead.

Yes, the wrinkles in the mirror are really there.

Worry has carved lines along my once youthful skin.

It wasn't that long ago Todd and I were at a Weekend to Remember marriage retreat and a darling older couple was commenting that I didn't look old enough to have kids, let alone to have been married for 12 years.

Bless them.

But today... today I do look old enough for kids and marriage and life.

My face is showing something that I didn't want to share.

Laugh lines are beautiful. I want to be covered in them. Doesn't that represent my life so much better than worry lines? I want people to look and me and think, now there's a girl who must have a lot to smile about.

Because I do. I have so much to smile about...

The ducks are gathered just past the dock off the back yard. Every few days the ducks, all the ducks in the whole lake it seems, all gather for hours in this spot. Like they're just stopping by for a visit. I can watch them for hours - though the kids make sure that doesn't happen. I love to watch them dive under the water. Fish? Seaweed? What are they doing down there?

All I can see is what's on the surface.

They bobble along, sometimes skimming something off the water with their beaks, sometimes quacking at an offending neighbor, sometimes just going with the flow.

I can relate to my ducks in so many ways. They seem to be doing their own thing, even when the whole flock is there together. They're out there surviving and fending for their lives. They're small and vulnerable and have to choose fight or flight.

And then they disappear below the surface. Alone. Their survival depends on their ability to hold their breath as they plunge below in search of that which sustains them.

Oh ducks. I am holding my breath also. Searching for that which will sustain.

In the cold darkness of the depths, holding my breath, I look out and see a light. My lungs hurt from being under for so long, but I can't turn away from the Light. The nearer to it I get, the less I hurt. Until finally my lungs are filled and I am warm.

Still under the surface surrounded by darkness, I am sustained. Even in this dark place, I find Light.

The ducks swim on, and I turn back to the mirror. The lines are still there. But the worry is not. I can close my eyes and see my worry resting on the bottom of the lake. I can smile.

We are days away from leaving our children and returning once again to the city. Cycle #2 of chemo begins Monday morning. Back to the 7-hours of infusions every day, ER visits, and endless sitting, wondering, and waiting. It feels a lot like sinking into the lake, farther and farther from oxygen and light and life.

I find peace only in knowing that even in the depths, there is Light still.

Oh praise God, there is Light still. 


Judy said...

I read your blogs and something inside of me connects to what you are expressing.
I don't usually leave comments because I am not a writer and it breaks the spell of what you are saying. But, once in awhile, I have to let you know there are people that read and their lives are touched by your words and faith.

Ralph Carpenter said...

An interesting read. You really know how to present a story in a form of a few lines. Looking forward to reading more posts similar to this in the future.

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