In 1993 a beloved friend called and asked if I would help her write her Christmas letter. Her name is Linda. She said: All my letters sound the same; but if you could write it: all would be better.
I said of course and wrote down the happenings in her family for the past year: her life as an impeccable teacher, as wife to her husband Mike, and news on her dear daughter, Tasha.
When my son gave me a surprise 60th birthday party, she and sister Bev, my teaching partner, were there, too, as I slithered down the wall of the Hotel Sofitel in my stunned awakening.
But not too long after the incredible party, Linda's voice disappeared on a phone call with her father. She was rushed to the local hospital and then air-lifted to Hennepin County Medical Center. We nearly lost Linda. Physicians discovered an aneurysm which had branches where no branches should be. An aneurysm is nothing you want, but something that happens. Many don't survive--and immediately fly up (my description of death).
But Linda, who had spent half her life in one of the Catholic Churches in Shakopee, MN, (either St. Mark's or St. John's), her life, most joyously, was spared. But the surgery and subsequent surgeries, caused mini-strokes. She lost the ability to speak clearly and never returned to the classroom she loved to teach.
What is fascinating with the passage of time, is the small poem I wrote is nothing compared to her life. For Linda, has triumphed. And in David Richo's dear words: she's used her "givens as graces."
Her life isn't easy, but she still radiates joy which I credit to what author Susan Shumsky calls the Divine Within--or the still small voice of God. But for Linda it isn't small; it's a much bigger voice which has ennobled her life.
She speaks more clearly now, but it's still a bit of a challenge. And all the work she tirelessly did for others is more limited. But she still does all she can, helping clean her father's house and maintaining her own home. She volunteers in the school library.
Linda has accepted what happened years ago. The matted frame that bears the quote speaks louder than the poem. Because Linda and her faith simply shine. Not in total perfection because this is still the planet Earth, but as luminous as her private and public faith.
So this blog post is dedicated to a woman and her sisters, and surviving brother who continue to embrace family and shine on past hard times. I love them all.
And all the gold you see above--is what Linda has done with her life along with husband Mike and daughter Tasha.
Linda would say: Embrace your road; it's your journey to God.
When the Angels Say: Hush posted one year ago. (Easier to read.)