I used this painting once before to illustrate the friendship I have with my best friend Lizzee and when she saw it posted on my old blog it made her laugh. Both of us could just so totally see ourselves like this in our Golden Years. Except we never did figure out which one of us was doing the leading, and which one was following. But it showed us together and, after this past year, I wasn't too sure if there'd be a "together" or not for us anymore. You see, I almost lost her. For her privacy's sake I won't go into any detail, but she's been terribly ill. Close to death 3 times. And since her last surgery I hadn't heard from her much, outside of an occasional email forward that she'd send my way. No real email letter to speak of, until my birthday. And when I read the letter she wrote to me, it made me cry. Because, you see, she is my dearest friend in real life and to know the pain, the fear, the 'aloneness' she felt thru all this...it broke my heart. She will never be 'whole' again. Not like she was before. But she has an amazing amount of faith and to read how she's still thankful she's here in spite of it all, to know what her daily life is now...it's a very humbling thing. Because, so often....don't we just take our 'normalness', our health and ability to get up and do whatever we want to do, for granted? She says she knows God has a plan for her...why else would He spare her so many times? She truly has been thru the valley of the shadow of death. And I know she wouldn't mind me asking you all to keep her in your prayers. She's in mine. All the time.
My grandson Dylan spent the nite with us last nite. For an almost-2-year-old, he takes up an incredibly HUGE part of a bed! In fact, Dear Hubby decided -- quite smartly -- to go ahead and set up a cot for himself downstairs in his den so Dylan, Chloe dog, and I could have our queen-sized bed. It's a good thing he did because I was left with not much more than the edge of my side of the bed, what with Dylan sprawling out sideways half the nite and Chloe cuddling as close to both of us as she could. Between the fireworks and our neighbor coming out at midnite to bang a big pot with a wooden spoon, hollering, "Happy New Year, Everyone!" over and over again for about five minutes straight -- I think he'd sampled quite a bit of New Year Cheer before he ever ventured outside -- Chloe dog was a little bit stressed last nite. I'm actually quite surprised she didn't wet the bed along with Dylan. I came to around 5 a.m. to find the bed soaked and Dylan pretty soggy himself, so I changed his diaper and his jammies and we crawled back in to bed on the other side to sleep for another hour. The wet sheets could wait. He hasn't spent the nite with us very often...I think, because I baby sit him full time thru the work week, the kids feel bad asking me because I don't get much time for myself anymore. He did very well last nite, tho...came right to bed with me and settled in between the blankets. But I could tell it was a little strange to him, coming to bed in the dark, so I snuggled close and put my arm around him and asked him, "Would you like Grandma to sing to you?" and he indicated that yes, he would. "How about 'Wonderful Words of Life'?" I asked, since that's his favorite time-for-a-nap song. He grunted an affirmative, so I began singing to him and the next thing I knew he was sound asleep. The only time he woke up was once when I got up to go to the bathroom...he sat bolt-upright in the bed and was still sitting there when I came back. As soon as I lay down, tho, he cuddled right up against me and went back to sleep, too. I told Dear Hubby this morning there isn't much sweeter in Life than this, being a grandparent.
And so...another year begins. And in a few short months my newest grandson will be arriving. I don't think my mind has wrapped itself around that fact yet. But if I'm blessed to witness him emerge into the world like I was when Dylan was born...oh my. It was one thing being involved when my babies were born, a totally different thing actually having someone else do all the work and seeing the miracle of birth from an observer's point of view. I will never forget when Dylan was born and my daughter-in-law looked up at me after she'd been holding him for a few minutes and asked, "Would you like to hold him?" When I took that warm, sweet little bundle into my arms and then sat beside Dear Hubby gazing down into his precious face. Well. I'd never felt closer to Dear Hubby. And I'd never felt closer to God.