Day 25: Light

Today I am thankful to Charlie for sharing her heart and her words.  I was nervous to ask her to write as she’s lived through perhaps my biggest fear.  Her courageous thoughts give hope as she dares to not just survive, but bring light to others.  I pray that my daughter, Charli might live to be even half as courageous as the woman who inspired her name.

* * *

Tonight our closest friends and family will gather around a bonfire, and let sky lanterns go into the prairie stars.  We will remember a little girl whose name means “light”, a little girl who died suddenly in her crib one year ago from a situation doctors describe as one in a million.
As the fall turns to winter, my body remembers even if I don’t want to. The damp cold under my knees as I knelt in the front yard screaming.  Ambulance lights flashing, paramedics holding me back, the blow of surreal terror. The sun reflecting on sparkling snow those strange days after, juxtaposed with the deepest dark feeling of being a stranger in a new world…blinding bright, blinding new reality, the cold light quiet of winter air and everything normal coming to a halt for weeks.
When my whole body hates the season, the darker days: how can I be grateful? When I see that faith feeds the hope that I so desperately need, that truth feeds faith, and that I simply don’t know how to figure out what’s true right now—how do I attain any sort of beautiful perspective? The answer is that I choose to. That I start small, and just try, and then try again and again. A practice, just like yoga.
  1. I am thankful for warmth. Warm down comforters, beanies with pompoms, wool socks, strong arms, our fireplace, the holidays, a hot mug between my hands. ALL THAT IS WARM!
  2. I am thankful for friends who stick with me like sisters. Practical friends who show up with the exact thing I don’t even know I needed, artist friends who tell me they felt like we were in an bitter-cold battle together last winter…she who texted me that she imagined “wrapping a big ole bear skin around you, with my arm around you, you with frozen tears”.
  3. I am thankful for generosity and hospitality. I have adopted those two values as cornerstones to work on/practice for the rest of my life after our tragedy, because people are all that matter.
  4. I am thankful for Tobin Moses Arrow, my son whose name means that God is good, whose namesake was a leader just like he is the leader of his future siblings. He continually saturates my life in goodness, keeps my heart tender with all the love and sadness and joy a girl could ever swallow all at once.
  5. I am thankful for the life of Lucy Garland, my firstborn. Another friend who lost her toddler daughter said of her, “I truly believe she was an angel that walked amongst us, as was Lucy . . . they were gifted to us briefly and brought back home where they will never experience pain or heartache or suffering, waiting until we can all be together again!” Dreamy, happy little girl who sang about sunny days, whose brown eyes swam with love just like her daddy’s: Forever, and ever, I am grateful you are mine.
Gratitude is a rebellion: a shoving back, a victory, a power.It is a light in the dark, like so many sky lanterns on a November evening—a recognition of the light here on this battleground, the light which we hope beyond all things is only a taste of the Light that is to come…where my own little light dwells very much alive, with me, and waiting.

Day 25 Challenge:

  • Light a candle for ones gone before, for gratitude today.
*This post is part of a 30-day gratitude challenge.  Subscribe via e-mail (on the left) or post a gratitude to WIN A PIE HERE.

2 thoughts on “Day 25: Light”

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