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My mother passed away in 1998 but not a single day goes by that I don’t think fondly of her.  I was particularly reminded of her at church yesterday.  Our  minister honored those mothers present and those mothers no longer with us.  It’s a miracle that I think so fondly of my mother, actually, because we were not great friends in my early adulthood.   We were more or less estranged after I left my home town with a husband they didn’t really like.  And then in my early recovery I stayed away by choice, even though that husband was no longer a part of my life.   I occasionally called my parents but for a number of years I didn’t let them know who I really was.  It seemed best that way.  Our conversations were superficial which left fewer opportunities to argue, a great pastime of my dad’s.  He engaged me far too easily in those arguments because I was just as intent on being right as was he.

My mother generally looked on, not engaging in our struggles.  I always felt she was secretly glad I was standing up to him though.  She never felt strong enough to do it, except through her passive aggression.  After my dad passed, my mother and I spent more time together.  She stayed with my current husband and me for a few months every winter.  It got her out of the cold but the real upside to her visits was the development of a friendship that I had never expected to experience.  We shopped, went for lunch, had dinners out too.  She loved sports and we rooted for her favorite teams together.  She and I took up painting by numbers just as a lark.  I still treasure the only one she finished.  Mothers are an under-appreciated group.  That’s for sure.  I think of her as my guardian angel.  Some thing tells me that pleases her, in fact.

She left this world knowing she was dearly loved by me.  And that pleases me.

Some of my dearest friends are facing tough situations right now.  Being present to listen, or to hold them in prayer, or simply to serve as a witness while they make the journey that is quite specifically theirs to make is why God has “arranged” our meeting in the first place.  I can still recall how I used to think an idea such as this one was simply too far-fetched to even consider as a possibility.  And now it guides my thinking every day.

Being open and willing the allow new ideas to inform us is part of the necessary journey we are on, I think.  Nearly every idea I hold dear today has been cultivated over these many years I have walked along this spiritual path.

I saw a movie a few years ago that really brought clarity to why we are “here” in one another’s lives.  It’s to serve as a witness.  Being seen, being known, being accepted is what we hunger for and when we can’t find it, we begin looking in all the wrong places.  I certainly sought it through alcohol and drugs, unhealthy relationships, and workaholism.  Then I found the pathway to real meaning through a relationship to a Higher Power and connections to the kind of people who really do “sign up” to serve as our witness.

Being the witness to a friend on our path isn’t a one-way street.  It’s very much a two-way street.  We reap what we sow.  Not a new idea, is it?  Be alert today. Your attention is needed by many.  Start with the person standing closest to you.

I sit here amazed that it’s been nearly two weeks since I blogged last.  Where does time go?  I love to write and I love doing this blog but I have obviously let “life” get in my way.  Some times we enjoy the quick passage of time; the dreaded dentist appointment, for instance, if we are facing some work we really don’t want to suffer through.  Having it over more quickly than anticipated is a blessing.

But the broken heart will not mend very quickly, no matter how we approach it.  The pain will pass, however.  If we are willing to seek the counsel of others who have walked a similar path already, we will not only get relief but words of encouragement that are guaranteed to soften the blow and heal the wound.   I haven’t had a broken heart for many years but I have experienced periods of darkness. Why they come is any one’s guess; but we can be certain that every one of us will find ourselves in a shadowy place once in a while.

It occurs to me that mine come upon me when I have forgotten to acknowledge the God of my understanding along with the “hovering angels” I believe are personally assigned to each one of us.  I wouldn’t have believed in either of these concepts prior to coming into the recovery rooms and now both ideas sustain me daily if I call on them to.  Life can be so much brighter, so much easier if we allow the “helpers” to guide us on our journey.  Why would we ever choose otherwise?  Indeed, why would we.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if the entire country found something in the new law to make them happy?  I have thought a lot about this reform lately.  Considering all the discussion on cable news, it’s been hard to avoid thinking about it.  I can’t say that I understand the myriad details, nor can I speak for it’s long term impact; but I do think waiting a while to see how it helps those less fortunate among us is wise.

Some say we aren’t our brothers’ keepers.  I say we are.  Lending a helping hand where ever we can is doing God’s work, after all.  I don’t mean to turn this into a religious tract, nor do I think the reform is meant as such either; but helping the least among us is the right thing to do.

Leaving health care reform aside for a moment, just consider the many opportunities every day you have to smile at a stranger, that you ignore.  Or to hold the door open for one older than you.  Or not rudely hang up on a caller who has a wrong number.  Or saying a silent prayer for a friend or stranger that you have gleaned is in trouble.

There are so many ways to help others that cost nothing but a moment of our time.  I think we can lump all of these opportunities, and health care too, into one basket.  There’s the right thing to do and the wrong.

When (and if) we ask the God of our understanding for guidance, I think we know the response we’d get.  Reach out to others in all ways that make this world better for each of us.  In the long run, what helps one, helps all.  Are you prepared to do your part today?  I am.

I participate in two telephone conference calls every morning, both of them related to my spiritual journey.  And in both calls, there are participants who have been part of my recovery journey for all 35 years.  That’s amazing to me.  It’s not that I don’t still have loving friends from high school and college who I see or talk to on occasion, but these particular “phone buddies” know me in the most intimate of ways.  As I know them.  And we are committed to loving and cherishing each other’s heart while walking, side by side through the brambles of life.  Nothing is too difficult to handle when we have others who are willing to shoulder the load with us.

I have talked in earlier blogs about the “angels on assignment” to us, the ones wearing skin and those who are looking on from the other side.  It’s so important to pay homage to all of them.  We simply couldn’t do life alone.  Nor are we expected to.  On the contrary, our connections with others, those special moments of joining that we experience, are the holy instants of our lives, and it’s in those fleeting instants that God is so very present.  Remember, when ever two or more are gathered. . .  Taking the time to appreciate every encounter we have throughout the day is the best way to say thank you to the god of our understanding for the blessings bestowed on us.  They are many.

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