Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thank you, Lane

photo credit: Prayers for Lane Goodwin
I have fought writing this story. I have started and stopped it numerous times. Dismissed it. Firmly said "No" to whatever has compelled me to write it.

You see, it is not my story. Not at all. No, this is a story of heroism, courage and conviction beyond anything most of us have ever known -- and it is not mine to tell.

Yet, here I am, telling you about Lane Goodwin.

If you don't know who Lane is yet, the odds are very good that you soon will.

You see, Lane, a sweet, brave, 13-year-old Kentucky boy with cancer, is quickly becoming a global sensation. His amazing story has gone viral, urging folks from all over the country, and beyond, to give him a "thumbs up" -- a classic Lane pose no matter what he has faced in his long, brave battle with a rare form of cancer known as alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (or his mother so aptly calls it, the "monster").

Facebook and Twitter have exploded with thousands of well-wishes and photos from ordinary people like you and me, as well as athletes and musicians, news personalities and celebrities, all giving Lane a "thumbs up." Thumbs have been raised by the likes of Courteney Cox and Garth Brooks, as well as by Ugandan orphans, half a world away. Lane's name has been lovingly plowed into fields by farmers, written on the back of dusty interstate trucks and incorporated into national news stories.

I'm sure those close to Lane are humbled by the outpouring of love for him.

Those of us who have followed his story the past few years are smiling at each other through tears, nodding across the intertubes at one another. Like you, we are simultaneously brokenhearted and uplifted.

I must confess here that I do not know Lane or his family personally. Lane's mother, Angie, and I are from the same small Kentucky town and graduated not too many years apart from each other. In a way, I suppose that connects us. We also have many mutual friends, some of whom began the Prayers for Lane Goodwin page on Facebook when he was first diagnosed in March of 2010.

I, like many others from my hometown and the surrounding area, joined his page then at the request of a friend and began to follow sweet, young Lane on his journey. He is like any boy. He is like my boy. He likes playing soccer; cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals; fishing; building with Legos; and swimming. He enjoys spending time with his friends; goofing off with his little brother; and playing video games. He is not too big to snuggle with his mom or fall asleep in his dad's arms. He loves to visit the ocean and have new adventures. He fears nothing, it seems: not the sharks (he swam with those); not heights (he flew airplanes and parasailed); and not even the cancer that has ravaged his young body. He hates cancer, but he looks his enemy in the eye and he fights it.

Though we grieved for the difficult path, we knew he would be triumphant. He would. We prayed it. We believed it.

And beat it, Lane did. This kid is one tough cookie! We rejoiced and praised as scans came back negative after his first battle.

But then last summer, that ugly, horrid beast of childhood cancer returned. Once again, after we shed tears, we rallied the troops and prayed even harder. Lane himself gave us the rally cry. When confronted with difficult medical choices, he told his parents, doctors and all of his friends that he wanted to bring out the big guns and "nuke it."

We cheered him on again as he went to war. Along the way, we met other far-too-young soldiers who have courageously fought and lost their battles with childhood cancer. Ethan. Savannah. Too many others.

For a while, it seemed Lane was beating the odds through new medical trials. Though initially diagnosed with Stage IV cancer, he would be triumphant yet again. We willed it so.

But our hearts were so heavy this summer when we learned that the cancer was back and spreading. And those heavy hearts grew heavier when Lane had a seizure recently and was rushed to the hospital. That's when they -- and we -- discovered the cancer had spread to his brain.

Lane is now home with his wonderful mom and dad, Angie and George; his incredible little (but big-of-heart) brother Landen; and other family and friends. Wise beyond his years, Lane has told the doctors that he understands that they can no longer do anything. He has told his parents that he is ready to go to God.

Though he is physically weak, he is spiritually strong. Like a true and triumphant warrior, he raises his thumbs to us.

To us.

Even in his most troublesome times, Lane encourages us. He gives hope to those of us who don't even know him -- but wish we could. His story grows because he gives this weary world what it seems to lack: grace, courage, peace.

Personally, perhaps selfishly, Lane makes me appreciate even more the blessings of life.

I once saw Lane's mom on a night out in our hometown. I wanted to approach her, but I hesitated. She was at a reunion with friends on what I am certain was a very rare outing. She has been by Lane's side every step of the way. I shied away, just happy to see her smiling with others.

I wish I had talked to her, told her that my children and I were praying for Lane, that he was and is a true hero to us -- and that he reminds us of what is important.

I didn't.

But I think she knows.

There is something incredibly special about her son. Not many people can move the world; but her son has.

Lane is her son -- so closely, deeply, her God-given and wonderfully-crafted boy -- and I hesitate to encroach on the sacred space between a mother and a child.

As I see post after post, though, I realize that, in some ways, he is like our son, too. I do not want the Goodwins to hate me for saying that, as they struggle to hold on to all they hold dear. I pray they do not misunderstand.

What I mean is that there is something about a parent's love and desire to protect a child that makes us all protective of Lane. We all hold him now.

While we know we cannot fathom your pain or understand the depths of your despair, we stand with you, George and Angie. We surround you. We reach our hands out to you. There is an army of us, loving you, Lane and Landen.

I have two children, a boy, 10, and a daughter, 15. My heart beats for them, as they are the best of me. Even though they are older, I still sometimes watch them sleep at night. I pray for their safety. I panic if my son slips out of sight, or if my daughter is past curfew.

Once, when my daughter was little and fighting an inexplicable string of infections, she was tested for leukemia. For a weekend, I lived in a dark, black place, fearing the Monday phone call with test results. As Mat Kearney sings, "I guess we're all one phone call from our knees." Life is like the morning mist -- a fine, fragile sheath separating all that grounds and holds us to Earth from the ethereal and unknown.

Thankfully, my daughter was okay. But I ache for other children and their parents, whose lives are forever altered when doctors deliver the diagnosis of cancer or other serious ailments. Why must any child suffer? I will never understand.

Yet I have watched Lane's parents say, over and over and over again, "God is good."

If they can believe that -- even now -- then I can, too.

As Lane's story gains momentum, I find myself talking more to God. The truth be told, I'm arguing with Him.

I say, "God! LOOK! Lane's story is gaining worldwide attention. This is a MAJOR PR opportunity for you! So many are focused on this young man and praying for him. This is your chance to prove who you are and what you can do, to give his family the joy of watching him grow up, to give the world the miracle it so desperately needs. Please grant Lane his miracle. Let the entire world see him healed in this place, in this time, so that his parents can watch him play soccer and fish and swim and wrestle with Landen."

I have this conversation repeatedly with God, like many of you do. I know He hears. And those of us who believe know that He also understands well the grief of Lane's parents.

I don't know what God thinks of my feeble attempts to be His marketing guru. All I know is that while I was lying in bed with all these words running through my head, I initially refused to write them. I am not worthy to write Lane's story. Heck, I'm not even sure it needs to be written. What's happening worldwide is proof that Lane and his parents have told his story quite beautifully.

Still, I felt pushed to write as I prayed. I know this about Lane Goodwin and want you to know it, too: the world is better because he graces it. A child is bringing out the best in us. The globe suddenly seems smaller; our differences diminutive.

Together, we stand strong for Lane. One friend said he gives new meaning to the name "Goodwin." Good. Win.

I see that.

I also see a chance here to make an incredible difference.  Friends, it just so happens that September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month. If every person who is touched by Lane's story or who likes his Facebook page or posts on Twitter would give even one teeny-tiny dollar to a reputable program dedicated to curing childhood cancer, it would be yet another beautiful way to honor Lane, the Goodwins and all of those who have and continue to struggle with this cruel disease. I am sure Lane's family would give that a big thumbs up.

In the meantime, I thank them for raising an incredible boy, who has touched the world, blessed our lives, opened our hearts

Lane's story is about him -- but so much more. He has become the face, or more appropriately, the "thumbs", for childhood cancer. This brave boy has brought compassion and awareness to all who struggle with disease. I love and pray for Lane, but in his plight, I see others who hurt and fight. I do. I see you, too. I want you to know that.

That is Lane Goodwin's gift to all of us: Benevolence. Empathy. Kindness.

Thumbs up, Lane.

Two thumbs way, way up.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Dance that Saved the World (You're welcome)


Has it really been 25 years since I ended the Cold War? Time flies, friends.

With that, I re-post one of my personal Porch favorites.

I hear there is video of my dramatic, world-changing performance. I am determined to find and post it. In the meantime, I'm working up a little dance number to bring peace to the Middle East. (I hope I can convince Corey Hart to write a new song.)


How I Ended the Cold War (or Oh My God, Honey, She's Delusional Again!)

"General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" ~ Ronald Reagan, 1987

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Whatever, Reagan.

While some might credit you for the thawing of the Cold War, I know better. I know it was, in fact, my talent at the Henderson, Kentucky, Junior Miss program in the fall of 1987 that eventually resulted in peace between the super powers.

How so?

When I was a senior in high school, I participated in the local Junior Miss pageant. Before you judge me, swimsuits were not required. If so, I would have known better than to get involved  -- not because I didn't have respect for pageant girls in swimsuits so much as I didn't have boobs to put in said swimsuits.

In the Junior Miss program, contestants are judged in the categories of scholastic achievement, interview, talent, fitness and self-expression. I'm not sure how I measured up in the first four categories, but man, I definitely nailed the last one. If it is one thing I can do, it is express myself (those who read this blog might disagree).

See, I have no real talent to speak of (those who read this blog might agree), so I decided, instead, to make a powerful political statement.That's right. Please keep in mind I had watched Red Dawn and Rocky IV at least 532 times each on HBO, so you can't really blame me. I was all jacked up on slick Hollywood propaganda!

So while other girls in the pageant played classical piano pieces, sang lovely songs from well-known musicals or performed ballet routines, I went .... another route.

I dressed in camouflage and combat boots, marched Soviet-soldier style onto the stage of that small-town middle school and danced to this little-known but totally friggin' awesome Corey Hart song, "Shoot Komrade Kiev."

I was so stoked to find the song on youtube that I actually used the word, "stoked."

In case you were too busy dancing to follow the lyrics (and who could blame you?), they include, "And when the story's finally told/That each man's heart was bought and sold/There was no enemy you see/Only the doubt in you and me."

How could that NOT inspire any compassionate, idealistic young American girl to shake her groove thang between American and Russian flags? Better yet, I culminated my performance by marching silently up to the judges and pointing a gun I'd formed with my fingers in their faces. Oh, yes, I did.

They were speechless, as was most of the audience. But I had made a formidable statement on behalf of Komrade Kiev and GI Joe. Shortly thereafter, the wall fell and the Cold War ceased. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Also, I was third runner-up. Someone close to the pageant later told me I was in the running "up until that controversial talent, young lady!"  But hey! What's a pageant title compared to a step toward world peace?


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Midlife Confronts Gravity (then eats Oreo)

This is what denial looks like.
Last night, after enduring crunches and planks; slathering on buckets of regenerating serum; and tugging at the corners of my eyes to see how I once looked, I climbed into bed. Unfortunately, I had insomnia, another lovely gift of getting older.

Before long, crazy words were jostling around my 40-something head. I could not sleep, so I put them to paper.

I dedicate the deep, Shakespearean-esque work below to all the ladies who are spending their kids' college funds on the latest anti-wrinkle creams; enduring needles and lasers during lunch hours; and coloring their roots every six weeks.

It is for those who are smushing blistered toes into too-high heels and squeezing bellies that carried babies into skinny jeans, while secretly yearning for Keds and sweatpants (you know you are).

It is for the women who wonder where their lips went ... and why their eyebrows now have perms.

It is for those who wax, tweeze, pluck and shave -- their faces.

It is for the gals who reach for the apple instead of the Oreo, but then go back and eat an entire sleeve of Oreos, because duh. They're Oreos.

It is for those who secretly thank God for push-up bras, shapewear, Crest whitening strips and photo editing. I won't tell if you won't.

And yes, it is for those of us who hope, fervently, that Megan Fox now has stretchmarks.

It is for you, my beautiful sisters, with love.

We are strong!
We are invincable!
We are... tired.

Will someone pass me the remote and a pair of elastic-waist pants? I think Honey Boo Boo is on.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Anti-Ode to Gravity

Oh, Gravity!
How I hate thee
That maketh sag
such parts of me.

Wrinkles you bestow
most mercilessly!
Upon thine eyes, thine neck
Thine elbows and knees.

What once was pert
And dare I say perky?
Now swings to and fro
Like the neck of a turkey.

I toil and sweat
Heave and hustle.
Alas! My ass
Forgets it ever held muscle.

Fight you, I will!
With creams and tonics,
And the Oil of Old Lady.

No, I shall NOT
Give in to thee.
Thanks to "Cougartown"
I emulate Courteney!

I shall don highest heels
I shall buy lacy cups
To take what you dropped
And push it back up.

Oh, Gravity
I declare WAR!
And speak for all women
When I say... UP YOURS!

By Penned from the Porch, courtesy of insomnia

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Keep Your Enemies Closer

Today, of all days, we should set aside our differences, and in the spirit of the United States of America, reach across the proverbial aisle to embrace our neighbors, even those who think and vote differently.

Disclaimer: Don't worry. Other than the occasional joke, I generally avoid political posts here on the Porch. So please read on before tuning into another episode of Honey Boo Boo to escape a political story. (At least that is your excuse for watching Honey Boo Boo. It's okay. We all have one. I watch it so I can learn how to make redneck slip-and-slides. No judgment here.)

For the record, I don't just talk the talk; I walk the walk. If fact, I power walk the walk like Richard Simmons in sequined short-shorts. I'm not only reaching across the aisle, I'm walking down the dang thing.

That's right .... and left.

I, the Democratiest Democrat, am marrying the Republicaniest Republican. Good Lord, the things you do for your country. Honestly, I'm still not sure how this will work, so I looked for guidance from the experts.

One of the most famous politically opposed duos, James Carville and Mary Matalin, were asked on CNN how they stay married without killing each other. Here is how they responded:

Carville: I don't have a position on anything domestically. So I just say yes, and then go on and do it. I mean it. I would say the three ingredients to successful marriage are surrender, capitulation and retreat.  If you've got those three things --  [Laughter.]

Matalin: Spoken like a true liberal. What a martyr. Faith, family and good wine. That's how we do it.

Ah. Just as I suspected: Wine is always the answer. The question is irrelevant.

Perhaps we should take a bottle of vino over to my fiance's neighbors to apologize for our frequent political "discussions." I'm sure they are weary of listening to our super polite, respectful, meaningful dialogue -- which we just happen to yell -- to make sure the other person hears how polite and respectful we are being.

Any little thing can prompt a full-fledged debate: my fiance watching Fox News while nodding vehemently in my direction; me accidentally dropping his Rush Limbaugh "Patriot Police" mug and then also accidentally stomping on the pieces.

Whatever the case, we're soon going at it like Rosie O'Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck; like Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart; like twin boy #1 debating with twin boy #2:

If you're wondering, I'm the one missing a sock. Sure, I could go to my bedroom and retrieve another sock. But that's an awful lot of work, and I'm a Democrat. I'll just wait for someone to bring me one. (That was for you conservative readers. I love you, too.)

A friend or two have suggested we actually video our debates, for their viewing pleasure. I don't know about that, but I'll happily provide you with a transcript:

Me: YELLYELLYELLclosedmindedconservativeYELLYELLYELL
Him: YELLYELLYELLliberalmainstreammediaYELLYELLYELL
Him: All this incredibly polite political discussion has made me hungry. You want a donut?
Me: Heck yes, I do!
Me and Him: I love you.

God bless America. And donuts.

One friend has begged me to let her watch the election night results with us. She said something about inviting people and charging admission to "the show." Ha! Like we'll be able to be in the same house on election night. It would be fine until one of us started the I-told-you-so happy dance -- and then we'd owe the neighbors more wine.

Hopefully, no matter the results, we'll remember on Nov. 7 that love trumps politics. My big ol' bleeding heart has a place in it for everyone, and my conservative counterpart occupies a giant chunk of it. It's proof that God has a sense of humor.

What He has joined together, let no election put asunder.

I'll keep you posted on the state of our union.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Hey, Darlin' Porch Sitters,

I want you to know that I read and appreciate your comments -- and I honestly try to respond to them. I string nice words together in the comment area; I choose my "profile"; I hit the "publish comment" button ... and nothing happens. So I try again. And againandagainandagain to no avail. Sure, to tease me, Blogger acts like my comments are going to be published, but they never appear -- at least where I can see them. Maybe I need a secret decoder ring.

Perhaps my comments go to the Bermuda Triangle. Or they are with Elvis. Or they are under piles of laundry, in which case we all know I'll never find them.

Regardless, I thank you for being here, for reading my posts and for taking time to respond. I hope you know that I love you -- in a mostly non-creepy way.

After a too-long hiatus, I'm thrilled to be writing semi-regularly again, in between work and kid activities and fights with my fiance' over politics (more on that later). What a wonderful outlet this is for me ... and how it helps me avoid pesky things like housework [shudder].

I don't have scads of followers yet, unless you count Russia, where I'm huge. Still, I'm grateful for each and every one of you who visits. For real. Now please spread the word and make me famous, so I can hire a housekeeper. Those who don't look like Hugh Jackman need not apply.

But seriously, I wish I had a big ol' porch where we all could sit and rock and chat. Maybe we can storm a Cracker Barrel one day.

Until then, thanks for visiting. Y'all come back now, ya hear?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Airing My Dirty Laundry

In my last post, I mentioned that I had entirely too much laundry to be a serious goal-setter.

Lest you think I am prone to exaggeration on the Porch (who? me?), I share this picture of the latest pile:

Anyone else reminded of Marjory the Trash Heap, the oracle on "Fraggle Rock"?

Seriously, dudes. Laundry hates me. That's okay -- because as a single working mom -- the feeling is mutual. In fact, in my last house, I actually painted my laundry room the color of a margarita, hoping that would make all that sorting and washing and drying and folding more pleasant. Sadly, it only made me crave chimichangas. It was worth a shot, though.

Sure, I always have good intentions when it comes to the laundry. I do. I recall both my aunt and grandmother rising at 5:30 a.m. each day and starting loads of laundry with the sunrise (and possibly some drugs). Although I have never, ever done laundry at dawn, I still somehow think I will magically become that kind of diligent, disciplined housekeeper. But I also still somehow think I will become a ballerina, so there ya go.

Here is how laundry actually works here at the Porch:

  • Humming a merry tune, I carry around my baskets and happily gather the laundry from the kids' rooms (translation: I yell from the couch, "KIDS! YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES TO BRING ME ALL YOUR DIRTY CLOTHES, OR YOU CAN FORGET ABOUT CLEAN CLOTHES THIS WEEK! AND SINCE YOU DIDN'T HAVE ANY LAST WEEK OR THE WEEK BEFORE THAT, I'D TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY!"). Although I often suspect they throw clean clothes into the mix to avoid putting them away, I wash them anyway. You only make the mistake once of smelling a pair of boy's underwear to see if it is clean.
  • In between checking facebook and creeping on my daughter's Twitter account, I haphazardly sort the laundry into various piles: whites; darks; the these-striped-shirts-are-both-white-and-dark-I'm-so-confused-I-need-wine piles; and the oh-my-lawd-the-boy-hasn't-washed-these-socks-since-2007 piles.
  • Then I step over those piles for a while. I mean, I went to all the trouble of yelling for clothes and sorting the laundry. That counts, right?
  • Sooner or later, I throw one of the loads into the washing machine. Well, I mean, I attempt to throw a load into the washing machine. But I can't .... because that is when I discover the now mildew-infused load that never made it into the dryer. Those clothes didn't make it into the dryer because the dryer is full of towels that need to be put into laundry baskets. And those towels never made it into the laundry baskets because every basket is still full of clothes waiting to be folded. I fold clothes on my bed, and you see that photo up there, right? There's a hole in the bucket, Dear Liza, Dear Liza. It's a vicious cycle, friends.
  • Eventually, the kids complain about having to wear old Halloween costumes to school because they are out of clothes, so I pour some vinegar into the washing machine and rewash the mildewed load. Sure, I secretly celebrate this because it buys me more time - to try to figure out how I will find time to fold laundry.
  • The truth is, I probably will wash that same load three or four more times before it actually makes it into the dryer. I work, okay? And this blog doesn't write itself -- although I probably should say that it does sometimes ("Really? That post about grandma's nipples? Totally wrote itself. Yep. I was too busy doing laundry that day for such nonsense").
  • I also likely will spin the loads in the dryer several times before I fold them because that is, in fact, how I iron. I hear occasional rumors that there are these appliances that you plug in and press over your clothes to get rid of wrinkles. I do not understand why people bother with such things. Do they not own dryers? Or know where the neighborhood dry cleaner is? Or hang their clothes in the bathroom while taking a steamy shower? Or know how to run the curling iron over the shirt collar without getting burned (actually, I have not perfected that one yet. Mom, that really was not a hickey)? The husband-to-be is a lawyer, so he has all these important-looking shirts with buttons and collars, and I'm guessing, wrinkles. I have warned him that I do not, and will not, iron, but since I think Iron Man is super cool, he should count his blessings.

Speaking of blessings, I have heard I should be grateful for loads and loads of laundry because they are reminders that those I love are still here (uh, I know they are still here; I can smell those dirty socks three rooms over).

But yes, since my blessings are still here, I think it is high time their mother someone better at housekeeping teaches them how to do the laundry.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Some People Walk in the Rain

Let the rain kiss you.  Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.  Let the rain sing you a lullaby.  ~Langston Hughes

I am sorry if it has literally rained on any one's Labor Day parade, and I am terribly sorry for the havoc Hurricane Isaac has caused elsewhere.

But in my drought-soaked area, I have welcomed Isaac's rain.

The rainy weekend has replenished the earth after a long, hot, dry summer -- and nurtured my soul after a difficult couple of weeks. I have walked in the rain; turned my face up to it; fallen asleep to its soothing lullaby; cried with its storms; laughed in its sprinkles; and loved it. Loved it.

My fiance and I spent much of the weekend in the company of good books. As we sat around his house reading, I thought about how wonderful it is to have someone with whom you can embrace the quiet; to feel so comfortable in each others' presence that the quiet is not a void to fill, but an old friend who loves you with or without clever conversation.

And books! The joy of books! How grateful I am for those words that can whisk us out of own heads and into the lives of others, who are more messed up or more admirable or more everything or less everything than we are.

What is better than a good book on a rainy day? A nap after a good book on a rainy day.

We took glorious naps this weekend; sipped wine; and watched scary movies, including Jaws. It made me think less of monster sharks and more of the 1970s, of running around the drive-in playground in red, canvas sneakers, spinning dizzily on the merry-go-round, my whole life stretched out like the light beaming from the giant screen above my head, sluicing through the dark.

But the now has promise, too.

One evening, after books and before movies, my guy ventured out in the rain -- in his pajamas, no less -- to buy butter so he could make me baked hot chocolate, which is chocolate + butter + love. Each bite was more beautiful than the one before it. If Jesus was a dessert, He would be baked hot chocolate.

Goodness, how grateful I am for a man who not only is smart, funny and handsome, but bakes, too. We are polar opposites in the political arena -- and yes, this heated election year has tested our patience at times -- but what that man can do with sugar, butter and chocolate more than makes up for the Rush Limbaugh mug in his cabinet. Liberty, justice and chocolate for all.

In addition to chocolate decadence, I spent time this rainy weekend writing, journaling and praying. I thought about this quote:

I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.
-Dawna Markova

Although I am not usually a "goal-setter" (I have too much laundry for that!), I quietly set a goal ... to set some goals. Hey. It's a start!

One goal? I want my children to be proud of their mom, who does not always get it right, but who takes big, bold chances "to allow my living to open me."

Last night, while my daughter giggled in the next room with a friend who needs and deserves laughter, my son and I curled up on the couch with hot tea and enjoyed the more recent movie adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo

While it drizzled outside, my boy and I talked about the importance of honor and God and the dangers of envy and revenge.

At one point in the film, Edmond Dantes says, "Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes." 

I woke up during a storm this weekend. I slipped out of bed and tiptoed into the living room, where I sat on the couch and cried for the bad news someone I love recently received, tears streaking down my face like the rain on the windows. It was needed. Afterward, my soul felt like it had been washed on the delicate cycle.
This morning, I woke at my leisure to a quiet, dark house and the softest tapping of raindrops on the roof.

I don't know what's in store for today, as the rain has changed outdoor plans, but I am okay with not knowing. I am okay with not doing.

It has been the kind of soul-soothing, rainy weekend I needed, reminding me of a poem I once wrote about hurricanes - but have amended slightly here:

These raindrops,
my tears

These winds,
my whispered prayers

This swollen ground,
my grief

These muddy pools,
my wellspring of hope

Hurricane rain


As Mother Earth acquiesces.