Grace Living Between the Lines
February unsettles me. It’s a month that can bring me tears and smiles . . . sometimes at the same time. Its memories highlight for me the delighted smiles a Valentine can bring, the joy of my beloved bro’s birthday, and some heartache memories of the deaths of both parents.
Today I’m in the middle of the friendly part of February and encased in a snowy day—a good energy time for decluttering. So, here’s the picture: I’m on my knees, literally, spreading out important files on the floor in front of me, hoping to reorganize and make life easier for my beautiful heir, also known as my daughter.
I notice one file, labeled for family, and find buried within it a green note card, attached to three forgotten letters written to my son during a less friendly February time.
They were all about a specific February memory. I rearranged myself on the floor and began reading one, and then another, and more. I got lost . . . deep into a rabbit hole of remembrance. It took a while, forcing myself to read them, to re-engage in that February time. But now, here I am, through tears and smiles, encountering some February grace, first recognized years ago, and found again living between these lines.
“My mother and I were quietly waiting for her death. She, propped in a chair next to her hospital bed, blanketed, seemingly comfortable and asleep. I, sitting in another chair, just watching her breathe, trying to be quiet because I didn’t want to disturb her, to wake her, to move her, to see her in distress. Matt came to me then—in that antiseptic place to quiet my fear and leave me with the message that Grandma’s death was purposeful, was right, and all was ready.
All is ready . . . I know this makes sense to you, Son. But for me, as one still grounded in human form, sensing your message is miraculous. I have been given an enormous gift, a view of grace.”
According to Thomas Merton we humans have what we seek; it is there all the time and if we just give it time, it makes itself known to us. Reading between the lines of Merton’s words feels like hope to me . . .
like grace, coming true.
Within your own voice, and those loving lines of messages around you, rests the grace of serenity, compassion, mercy and unconditional love. Let them open themselves to you, bringing light to enrich the many memories of your life.