Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Teary Eyes with a Chance of Showers

I slice the sliver of leftover birthday cake so thin I can almost see through it. Just a touch of celebration-in-sweetness to go with my cup of choice, pure Assam tea in a silk bag steeped in a china Blue Willow teapot (convenience without sacrificing quality). I pour the amber liquid into my newest teacup find – a “reject” due to a lack of gilding. The artisan must have hiccupped and lost sight of this beauty as she sped past the brush unvarnished. I glimpsed her mates in gilded splendor, but felt drawn to the sweetly hopeful one that stood with only roses to offer. I noticed as I carried her to the checkout counter that she sat a bit wobbly in the saucer, and I loved her all the more. I see myself in this teacup that stands dutifully though imperfectly at the ready, a reservoir of comfort swallowed contemplatively as thought washes over the one seeking respite.

Some days living a “special” life challenges my naturally optimistic nature. The droning, the routines, the stymied growth, and that does not even begin to address the issues my autistic son faces each day. You see, I too have special needs, but the Lord built them into an inner place that I hide from the rest of the world. Whereas my son cannot hide the fact that he loves to drone a humming tune when excited or compulsively close an open doorway to his spotlessly tidy room, I stuff all my quirks and foibles into an envelope to be opened later in private when I can “handle” it all. Sometimes that envelope bursts at the seams and tears spill out; rarely does this happen off in a secluded corner. "Is it hormones?" I wonder, concluding that I have had this affliction all my life and this time of life has no special lease on tears.

I lift the gilt-free teacup to my lips and drink in the warmth of acceptance in the face of imperfection. All of my wildest hopes and dreams and longings fall in line behind the joy of being loved just for me, not for what I may become. When my sons arrived too soon and unable to survive without accessories (my husband uses that word with such a scope beyond fashion … I just love it) to help them breath and eat and survive, I loved them in that moment. I did not reason that I would be able to love them once past certain milestones; I had loved them before I ever saw them, no shortcomings affected that -- such a picture to me of my Heavenly Father’s brand of love for me. Though my parents failed to share such a love with me, I believed it existed and never gave up looking. I found it in many places, but always feared it would vanish if I reached for it; and so I held back … waited. One day the envelope burst, the tears spilled forth, and I nodded “yes” to an invitation to live fully in love.

Just yesterday my sweet husband turned 47. He looked at me as we were driving through the sunset-laden forests and said, “I am turning 47. It took 47 years to get here. How did that happen so fast?” I laughed a deep belly laugh and blew him a kiss. I met him when I had lived but 17 years and he only 18. He looks the same to me today. His smile has not aged a day; his lushly-lashed eyes still “send me.” I seem to recall the agonizing wait to become 18 and get away from the life I had been dealt and begin living the life I had always dreamed of: Love, life, education, marriage, children, and ... God granted me so much in the way of Happily Ever After.

I do not need to tell you that it has not been all smiles and batted lashes, but I will proclaim loudly it has been a wonderful life thus far, and I look forward to each new day, troubled or otherwise.

Funny, as I sit here rambling on about nothing in particular and everything in general that fills my life, I sense a lack of teary-ness. Did the sorrows go away? Has my sweet precious Edward Kitty, missing now five days, returned to meow and love me with his teddy-bear fluffy body? (Sadly, no. He appears to be resting peacefully somewhere beyond our life … much to my sorrow.) No, the doings of the day have not changed, my son’s autism has not vanished, the dishes piled in the sink remain, but the teacup stands empty. I have drained it slowly and surely in this respite moment by the wayside of yet another busy Monday. Though there be piano lessons to attend and fresh food to be selected for another feasting meal with those I love, I continue to pause here in my favorite chair with this cheerful teacup for just a moment longer. A “special” life, indeed …
Sweet Edward ... our "Eddie Boy" (I miss you!)


Becky said...

Debbie, what a beautiful post. Isn't it wonderful to be loved unconditionally despite our flaws. Not only by our husbands and friends but most of all by our Savior. Thank you.

P.S. !!! What happened to Edward? :-(

Mim said...

So sorry about your Edward!
Your writing gives me 'chills' as I read.
THere is a lot I'd like to respond to.. but your post has a lot in it!
I will keep reading your archives,
although I see you've just started blogging.
Your day with your husband and the harps and the food you describe sounds divine.
I will be back!

CONNIE said...

Good morning, my friend! This is such a great post! I am trying hard not shed some tears, I don't want to make a scene while I'm @ work...lol.

Anyways, my childhood wasn't that perfect either but it made me the way I am.

What happen to Edward? ANd please check your e-mail.

Enjoy the rest of your day and by the way,the teacup is so lovely. What a great find!

CIELO said...

Good morning, Debbie... That which some may find only as "imperfect" or "imperfection" is always a motive of "excellence" to others.... beauty nearly always involved an element of imperfection. And I'm so glad for that!

Have a blessed day.


Lucy said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us. It was very moving and lovely, even though painful for me to read. I feel closer to you. What would we do with out the
Lord, our balm of Gilead?
Love you dear sister

noble pig said...

Wow! I am amazed because for someone who has seen some of the sorrows you have faced and deal with daily...you are by far one of the most positive people I have ever come across. It's in your voice, your writing...thank you for that. I always leave here happy!

Karen Deborah said...

ah sweet friend, thank you for sharing your heart. I love your special boys, and the way your family has always celebrated them and encouraged them. Mathew is a fine young man. You are an example of gratefulness. In your trials you praise God, in your blessings you praise God, if you lost all your blessings you would praise God. That is the heart of you, praise. You sing, you dance, you cook, you garden, all as praise. When I think of how you made "prayer" rose gardens and named bushes after people, making reminders to lift them up. All our trips to book sales, your long lists of good reads, your yummy cooking. I just ran across the chicken and stuffing recipe have to make that again. I just plain love you. period. hugs, and a smooch and another hug. Umm and I'll have a cuppa with ya.
Kiwi left last time for 12 days and came back,..hoping for you.

Elizabeth said...

Reading the other comments, it seems that they have said so much! I take care of a little boy who is severly autistic so I can somewhat relate, however not by any means to the same degree as he is not my own.
Enjoy your ponderances, and tears- they do us well as long as not used overly often :)

LadiesoftheHouse said...

I have missed reading your lovely posts since I have not been able to spend much time at the computer this week. I am so sorry about your missing kitty! I had that happen once and it just breaks your heart.

BTW--I also thoroughly enjoyed your CA trip post. What an amazing day you had! You have renewed my appreciation for CA.

Jo said...

And oh how I loved your depiction of a "special life"... I can perfectly imagine your safe-haven-of-a-home. ;)

Julie said...

Thank you for sharing your innermost thoughts so eloquently. I feel like I know you, though we've never met. (((hugs)))

P.S. I especially loved the phrase "gilt-free".