Giving thanks and being blessed

Thanksgiving has come and gone. We traveled and had a nice trip. The holiday was spent with family and we had a nice time, but when I tried to reflect on what I had to be thankful for, it was very difficult to truly feel thankful. It wasn't hard to come up with something. I'm clearly always thankful for Susan and my beautiful little girls. Those things sprang easily to my mind, but in my heart I couldn't really feel thankful. The gaping hole there swallowed up any real emotion. It wasn't a sad holiday by any means, which I suppose is something to be thankful for, but it wasn't a great one either.

In contrast to Thanksgiving, where I tried to be and feel thankful, this past Sunday morning I had the first genuine moment of quiet contentment that I can remember in a long, long time. Susan had left for church to warm up with the choir. Julia was dressed and ready for church early and sitting in the dining room drawing pictures and singing to herself. I sat in the kitchen with the paper and a cup of coffee with Lauren sitting happily in her high chair eating breakfast. Both girls were being loving and I felt very distinctly blessed to be having a quiet morning with my daughters. "Blessed" was the word that sprang to my mind sitting there to describe the warm feeling I had. I almost immediately felt the pang of loss and of guilt for feeling blessed under the circumstances. I know that is irrational. Wallowing in the pain of loss in no way honors Nathan or is what keeps his memory alive. I know that, but it can be very hard to accept. That good and warm feeling, however brief, was wonderful. I hope to have more of them.

Later Sunday morning at church our pastor was preaching on the beatitudes from the Sermon on the Plain in Luke, "Blessed are...". I listened carefully given the word "blessed" seemed to be working it's way into my day. He talked about the Greek word that "blessed" was translated from and dug deeper into the Aramaic word that Jesus would likely have spoken. I can't recall the exact translation he gave, but it was something like "on the road to". On Thursday I couldn't make myself really feel thankful, but for a brief, warm moment Sunday morning perhaps I found myself on the right road.

Since I have been so quiet on A Night in the Box and Cancer Dad, I'm cheating and cross-posting this to both.


Mom said...

I am thankful that we had Nathan for 7 years. He was a great blessing for all of us, as are your beautiful daughters.

Anonymous said...

I hope you continue to find fleeting warm moments of peace and blessings in 2008 Luke. I hope they become more the standard than not. I can't begin to imagine the loss of a child as a parent, but I want those moments for you, Susan and Julia.