My sister called . . . and we just chatted.
Sweet, serendipitous peals of laughter peppered our discourse as we flitted from subject to subject with abandon.
A trip to Hawaii?
A trip to The Biltmore in the Fall?
Christmas together here at Wisteria Cottage?
OH YES! AMEN!!!
We talked of this and that and nothing in particular as our hearts savored the simple joy of just chatting. Serendipity indeed.
* * *
For over a month now my sister has been in the throes of a medical journey to discover the cause of an abrupt swelling on her leg. Our natural flow of cell phone calls back and forth each week became littered with tears and fears and prayers as we tried to avoid talking about pending surgery and post-op recovery, of possible “C” word and chemo, of . . .
of . . . of . . . of . . .
Many times the phone failed to ring, yet an email appeared – it was just too hard to say it.
“We’ll talk soon,” closed the short note.
And we did . . .
. . . but not about IT.
What was the point?
I tried not to worry (and failed miserably, but kept trying – practice makes
perfect for a looong month of practicing. For me, at least.)
* * *
I jotted notes like:
Buy wicker bed tray and bud vase
Pack “X” and “Y” cookbooks
Order thus-and-so supplements to be delivered to her house
* * *
Tears flowed at each conversation's signing off, lacing the “I Love You” strings ever tighter despite the distance between Grass Valley, CA and Charlotte, NC.
I tucked away some “airline money,” just in case, but felt a tug at my heartstrings over Christmas and sent it all away for poor families to buy farm animals. Was I secretly hoping there would be no need? My prayers and journals hold no clue to such hope, as I poured forth my fears at the feet of my Lord.
“Whatever is true” I wrote firmly. “Now stick to the truth – to what you KNOW and not what you imagine or fear.”
“Today I know of no cause to worry, so worry I shall not,” I forcibly told myself in print and whispers.
And then I would set off to wash and weed and pray and release again the burdens my mind sprouts with such ease.
A writer’s imagination is not gift at times like these;
but a Savior’s soothing words provide perfect panacea.
Come to Me,
all who are weary and heavy-laden,
and I will give you rest.
And which of you by worrying
can add a single hour to [her sister’s] life's span?
If then you cannot do even a very little thing,
why do you worry about other matters?
* * *
Time dragged its heels. A cold wave took our town by storm. Darkness filled the days with a frozen hue. I clawed for serendipity and came up empty, for it cannot be summoned but only discovered.
I walked. I wrote. I prayed. I cried. I walked some more.
In the gardens I found budding daffodils.
In the coop the chickens broke their laying stay and gifted us with four eggs.
A forgotten CD of Hawaiian music + nature sounds transported a weary one to entertain thoughts of gentle beaches and washing waves in the quiet of an evening.
An email from a dear friend encouraged me to remember that waves may come unaware and sweep us off our feet if we are not careful. A wave of sorrow had swept me up and tumbled me over and over . . . but I came up standing (though sputtering) and breathed deeply the serendipitous sweetness of knowing I can face whatever today brings my way – even if it should entail more loss on this side of Heaven’s gate – for I am not alone.
And he said unto me,
My grace is sufficient for thee:
for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Most gladly therefore
will I rather glory in my infirmities,
that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
I accepted the gifts of today and stopped fearing tomorrow. I felt at peace. I found that tiny wink of serendipity that had been eluding me,
and it was enough.
* * *
And then the exuberant email came through:
NO SURGERY! NO CANCER!
No need for an unplanned trip out to oversee recovery and further treatment.
The culprit: An inflamed lymph node cluster, most likely from an infected scratch.
The solution: Antibiotics and rest. Nothing more.
* * *
I wept with relief.
She fumed that it had taken a month and several tiers of doctors before somebody thought to give her a simple antibiotic for the infection.
[My sis and I think on different waves. Complementary, I’d say.]
* * *
So now that I need not be packed and ready to jump upon a plane on a moment’s notice, we have cooked up a batch of “togetherness” plans for two more FUN visits this year, always holding out the hopes for three or four or . . . .
whatever serendipitous amount the future holds.
* * *
Is it only January 17th?
Why does it feel like this year is much older?
* * *
Methinks it is shaping up to be a very interesting year.
Ahem . . . more serendipity, please, LORD.
* * *
[And she leaves to rake leaves,
hoping to find more pretty bulbs in bloom
this sunny, sunny day in January.]