Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Gift

I am at home. I am sitting in my black chair, looking out my window, listening to the familiar sounds of traffic going by on 49th Street N.W., watching the birds hop in and about the fir tree that stands sentinel for me. While I doubt that anyone could accuse me of being a "homebody" or of fearing change, the constancy of home and the surety of familiar things is pleasing to feel and know.

The drive yesterday was largely uneventful, with the noted exception of a visit with my cousin Doug's wife, Anita. It was an absolutely wonderful visit with lunch at a local bakery. Anita is a woman of faith, a Christian woman, completely unlike the brand of Christian I have had to deal with of late. We talked a lot about how she saw my situation and what she felt about it. It speaks to her compassion and wisdom that we were able to discuss the hot topic of divorce without a moment of judgement coming from her.

It was interesting to be with her in many ways. We talked about faith and the damage my beliefs have suffered under lately. We talked about the difference between religion and faith, between blind belief and the value of seeking to question and understand. We share our thoughts on the danger of lingering anger and bitterness, how these painful siblings could damage your life long after a divorce. She is a woman of faith yet she is not "faithy", she is a woman who holds the words of Bible dear yet not a word of preaching came from her. She sought to understand, listened, and shared.

I came away from lunch feeling lighter and better than I have in a long time. The lightness got better and better as I got farther and farther away from the sadness that has enveloped my life in the last couple of weeks and months. The more distance I put behind me, the closer I got to my destination in front of me, the better I felt.

Anita gave me a gift, the kind of gift that requires no wrapping, needs no card, stands on no special day or event. Her gift, similar to the gift of those who are closest to me, was to share her life with me and to let me share my life with her. I am once again reminded of how lucky I am to have so many people in my life who care about me not because of who I am, but in spite of it.

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