Thursday, January 22, 2009

Leaning into Each Other

My husband and I took a long walk along a somewhat hidden, yet very well-known beach, this past weekend.  We were searching for a new place to comb for sea glass.  The beach that we had been treasure hunting along for over the past nine months, seems to have exhausted its supply and so, the time had come to move into some new territory.  

New territory...This is something that I/we have been slowly leaning into for the past several years.
-When Angel Daughter Number One stretched her wings in the direction of college, I leaned in.  

-When I learned that I was going to have to live with a chronic illness that had taken up residency inside of my body, I leaned in. 

-When my beloved brother passed away unexpectedly and my family was forced to look into the face of not only loss, but also biting betrayal, we all leaned in.  

-When we found out that we would have to fight an overwhelming battle to see our nieces, my daughter's cousins, we all leaned in.

-When our second Angel Daughter moved into her first apartment and began her college journey, I leaned in.

-When Angel Daughter Number Three and Angel Daughter Number Four started driving to high school together, my husband began the loss of his job as the primo-carpool driver and full-time father.  He leaned in.

-And when my husband and I were suddenly faced with the terminal, fast-moving cancer which was quickly ravaging the body of our beloved fifteen year old cat, Harley, about two weeks ago, we leaned in even farther.  And on Monday, we made the heart-wrenching decision to end his life peacefully and humanely, by putting him to sleep.  So, so, so sad.

We never found any sea glass on the new beach that we ventured down to.  Seems we will have to keep searching for the perfect territory on which to hunt.  We know that a good treasure hunt takes time and patience.  But as we were walking along, Mark spotted this rock.  He knew what it was right away.  But it took me a few extra seconds to metabolize its symbolism.  Mark began shifting the rock around so that I could get a better look at it, but when the idea that it was a large heart stone struck me, I asked him to leave it as it was.  For its placement, its shape, the way that it turned up directly on our path, let me know that everything was as it should be.  It reminded me that even when the territory changes, when the path curves or when it's time to search someplace else, as long as we lean in and trust, we will find a way to continue on.

As Mark and I continued our walk along the sand, we talked and laughed and took in all of the beauty which surrounded us.  He told me that he knows we are getting older, but that he still feels like he's in his twenties.  I giggled and reminded myself that I can still remember all of the reasons that I fell in love with him and knew he was the one, twenty-eight years ago.

And as we held hands on our way back to the car, we leaned in even closer.  We leaned into each other.


jenx67 said...

Your blog is a love story without being billed that way, and i just love that. I love that it gives me so much hope. I am always happy when I leave this place. And, always humming SPringsteen. I lvoed that note you left on my blog about your bro and the Gen X stuff. Thank you!

jenx67 said...

p.s. had to come back and tell you the other day juliette and i popped in the car to make a quick run up to see my mom. she took out my born in the usa cd, put it in and said, "I want to listen to Bobby Jean." I started punching buttons to reach the track and she said, "It's number 8."

I bought that album in May 1985. Here we are - 23 years later and my 11 year old is trying to figure out the words to Bobby Jean.

We went walking in the rain
Talking about the pain
From the world we hid
Now there ain't nobody nowhere nohow
Gonna ever understand me
The way you did...

Catherine Holman said...

How sweet! I love the rock and how you've symbolized it with life. So sorry about Harley.

Tracy said...

A beautiful post full of emotion-which is what life is full of the good and the bad. You have such a way with words Debbie-I always leave after reading one of your posts feeling moved-thanks for that.
Sorry about Harley-that is such a heartbreaking thing to do. I had it happen to my own cat Spencer in 2001-I still miss him!
Again thanks for the words-love the heart stone-very cool that you left it!

delighted heart said...

Another beautiful post. I am so sorry for all your losses this past year. What a heart wrenching year it must have been! As you continue leaning in...lean on love. For God is love. And He will lead you through and heal your broken heart. I'm praying His peace and comfort surround you and you feel His love as you lean in. Thank you for the use of your photos. Your photography is beautiful.

WV LeAnn said...

You don't know me but I've emailed or commented before. I read your blog this morning and it brought tears and fears to me. I awoke this morning to my 16 year old Border Collie stumbling through the house as I let her outside she fell off the porch and is limping and I can see sick. I will be heading to the vet today to have her checked and fear for the worse. This dog has been so faithful to me and my only 16 year old daughter. Please say a little prayer for her and us. Your writings inspire me and give me hope. WV LeAnn

Angel... said...

First of all so sorry about harley.. what a lovely story Debbie I just love reading it. well, i m feeling better now..

Poetikat said...

I think I have a good marriage, but you make me want to strive to make it even better. The way you articulate your emotion and love for your family and your delicate way of speaking of adversity, really touched me.
I'm sorry for all the trials you've had to face. We are all tested, aren't we? It's who we prove to be as we go through the difficult times. You've got yourself a great man!
Sorry about Harley. I have four cats (2 are 15 going on 16) and I know how hard it is to see them ill. You made the right decision. We don't keep an animal alive for the sake of the beast, but for ourselves. You released Harley from the pain - it takes guts to do it. I commend you.


Kathleen Botsford said...

Deb, it's good to catch up with you. I too am sorry about Harley. I too envy your fabulous love affair with the man of your dreams. We all have our challenges. The love and grace with which you navigate yours always, always, inspires. Much love, K

Lorrie Veasey said...

I saw the heart right away. I love the expression leaning in. Gotta try that someday as opposed to trying to lean back/away.

Ness said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Harley. I'm sure Andy and my crew met him at the Rainbow Bridge.

You and Mark's relationship is a true love story.

Keep hunting for that sea glass. Some day I will come and hunt with you.

Hugs to you and yours, Deb.


When I read your comment today I gulped. You are always so kind and sweet and thoughtful and...and...and... I could go on. And then I came over here and gulp again.
I am sorry for your loss. Your words are always so thought provoking and moving. My thoughts are with you and your family.

jojo said...

to me there is nothing better than to have that person to lean with. You and Mark are so very lucky to have found each other...the heart rock says it all ;)

Debbie said...

I just love how you always remain so positive. And what a gifted writer you are.

sparkled*life said...

This is the first time on your blog and I am so sorry for all that you have been through. In times that are hard I hold onto the scripture that says that Jesus came to give us life and give it to us more abundantly. I will be praying for peace to surround you durring this hard season in your life. Blessings on you....


Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

First of all, dear one, I am so sorry about your precious kitty. Our Winston is getting older and I know our time to say goodbye will come at some point too and it is unimaginable! Hugs to you on your loss.

Secondly, could you be any more inspiring? I love your posts and the love you share with your girls and the love of your life, your hubby. YOU inspire me!!!

hugs and many blessings, BFF,


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