March 23, 2014

Never Mind the Mud

Today marks 11 years since my father died.  When so much time has passed since an event, some may say "it feels just like yesterday."  Not this.  It feels like forever ago.  I miss him.   I wish he could have known my children.  I wish that he could have seen me as a mother.  He taught me so many life lessons that I am calling upon now as a parent.  A particular lesson I  often reflect on was not taught from his words or example, but was taught in his death and was taught to me by my brother.

When my father was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer our family was in shock.  My father was just entering that golden stage of life - having just become an empty nester, excited to make use of the first bit of free time he ever had in his life to enjoy his grandchildren.  Upon diagnosis came the prognosis of just a few months to  left to live.

Our whole family lived nearby and circled together during this difficult time.  That is, our whole family, with the exception of my youngest brother.  He was 2000 miles away at college.  So as my mother and other 3 siblings got to hug my dad and cry and be with him, my brother was alone, trying to digest the news that he was going to lose his father at an age that no child should have to.

My brother said that when he found out the tragic news, that he went outside in the dark and sank in sadness at the trunk of tree.  He remained by that tree as it began to rain.  When he realized he was not only wet from the rain, but then covered in the mud the rain had created, he felt beaten.  Then a feeling hit him to the core, that same rain that makes mud, is what also causes the flowers to grow.  He no longer was angry about the mud.

This year has been a muddy one for me due in large part to the many new challenges we faced with Bridger.  However, that same rain that caused that mud has caused the flowers to grow.  The most beautiful flowers are budding all around me and I am so grateful for those rain storms that I weathered, even if I had to sit in some inevitable mud holes.  I no longer mind the mud.