This Week: Laundry
This is part of getting older. This is part of having a chronic illness. This is part of life.
This discovery of things I cannot do well emerged in my desert journey. The beginning tell-tale sign: one joint in my thumb that would not stop its ever thrumming ache. The ache that spread from one join to another, until it was a systemic waterfall of inflammation and pain and things coming undone.
When things come undone, there are things you have to let go of. I am not good at letting anything go. I’ve written here and there about my habits of keeping things forever and a day. My Instagram feed is a testimony to decades of post-its and pens – held for some mysterious purpose that I must be withholding – even from myself. My Facebook laments cleaning out bags and bags of Bath & Bodyworks products well past their expiration. And those are just things – never mind hurts, heartaches, and wounds of which I cannot speak. No. I do not let things go easily.
But when walking and standing are issues and doing them for longer than five minutes is a challenge, some things have to go. My house is not as clean and tidy as I would like; as it used to be. Dishes sometimes pile up longer. Laundry manages to get clean, but does not move much past being clean in the basket – folding has gone by the wayside.
I could allow myself to become buried in shame and piles of clean, fresh laundry. Or I could give thanks for the things that remain.
|photo by cohdra|
- The lessons that linger from those desert times – the reminders of God present in my life and the lives of others – working miracle upon miracle – even in the smallest detail.
- The husband who lives marriage vows and love out like a verb – driving relentlessly, though it is, in itself exhausting; carrying the chores of feeding and cleaning upon those broad shoulders, and still finding time to rub mine when the pain escalates and overtakes me.
- The daughter who is learning compassion as she watches her Mama struggle with the everyday – learning to pitch in more and be helpful – gaining maturity as she takes things into her own hands and grows her responsibility.
- Friends who reach in and across from real life and through screens and in letters to hug, encourage, sustain, and pray – taking time from their own lives to pitch in, lend a hand, never forgetting that I do things a little slower, a little softer these days.
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