I was up late last night trying to "clean up" around me. (I know, I know... I have a problem.) Anyway, I was alone and couldn't sleep. Earlier yesterday I had printed an obituary of a man I don't even know. His obituary was sitting on my counter top.
My sister lives in Indiana, on a close-knit street. They are all friends. They all go to the bus stop early to let their younger kids play as they await their older children. They sit in their lawn chairs late into the summer nights sipping on their choice of beverage... ;) chatting together. They are aware of what is happening inside the homes of their neighbors. I love this kind of neighborhood. They know they are there for each other no matter what.
For the last few months, Manda has watched her neighbor slowly be taken from this earth. She has waved to him as she passes his living room window, where he lays in a hospital bed. She has chatted with his wife about the struggle of getting him to a hospital when it "is time" so that he won't die at home for the kids to remember. She has taken them dinner and has offered many heart felt prayers in their behalf.
She watched him arrive home from the hospital, a few weeks ago, in an ambulance when the decision was made to stop treatments. As he was getting out of the ambulance, Manda hollered "Welcome Home, Rick". Rick then blew a kiss to all those waiting for their children at the bus stop. And then on Tuesday afternoon, she watched as he was put back in an ambulance to go back to the hospital to pass away. There she waved "Goodbye" to Rick. Rick's wife, in a familiar way, blew a kiss to those watching at the bus stop.
This man was "Welcomed Home" in the early hours of Wednesday, Oct 6th. He was a 49 year-old father of two kids ages 5 and 9. He was a husband of a kind and strong wife. He was a son, a brother, an uncle, a neighbor, coworker, and a friend.
As I sat up, frustrated in my messy (unfinished) house, I saw his obituary. I didn't need to read it. I saw his picture and wondered if this man's wife was up, awake, maybe trying to straighten her home, because she couldn't sleep.
I was sad and embarrassed for venting about my surroundings.
I have a beautiful home. I have a beautiful yard. I have a car that works.
More importantly, I have giggling children that are healthy, happy, and good.
I have a talented beautiful daughter who is every one's friend. She strives to choose the right and set an example for those around her. She makes mistakes. She doesn't keep her room clean. But she is happy and genuinely LOVES people.
I have two strong boys who love to run, play, and get dirty. But they can't go to sleep at night until prayers are said and I have tucked them in. They won't leave the door in the morning until they have knelt to pray and have kissed me goodbye. They, too, make mistakes and hate to take baths and take their clean clothes upstairs, but love to hug me and aren't offended when I tell them they smell like "puppy dogs."
I have my health. I have a body that works (even works-out when I get it to the gym.)
And I have my husband. I have a man that is strong, healthy, and kind, and is here on earth with me. He listens to me complain and doesn't tell me I am spoiled. He loves me and he knows that deep down I KNOW that messes and unfinished projects really don't matter.
I have learned this lesson before and unfortunately have to be reminded now and again.
So... today, I am grateful for:
Unfinished Projects, Messy Houses, Greasy Hair, A Few Extra Pounds, Rainy Weather, The Family that I grew up with, And the Family that I am raising, and for My Husband and My Testimony of Forever Families - because THAT is what really matters.