“One tree can start a forest; One smile can begin a friendship; One hand can lift a soul; One word can frame a goal; One candle can wipe out darkness; One laugh can conquer gloom; One hope can raise our spirits; One touch can show you care; One life can make a difference, Be that one today.” ~ BJ Gallagher
The family reconvened for dinner after my uncle Roger’s funeral Saturday before last. My Aunt Charlene, broken hearted as she was, really wanted photos of everyone there. I’ve been steadily working my way through them. Just over a week after we buried Roger, my youngest uncle, James (seated on the right), was hospitalized after a series of strokes. He’s been battling cancer for several years, and it seems the treatments have taken their toll. Dad received a less-than-stellar doctor’s report just days before James took a turn. It’s been a hard winter for The Terry Family so far.
Despite it all, I remain ever hopeful. Things will work out as they should, whether we accept it (at first) or not. In the meantime, I have decided to observe Lent which I have never done before. My Grandmother Adams observed Lent every year in her quiet ways. She would often fast during the days, or for a few days at a time, or give up favorite foods for the full 40 days. I never gave it much thought as a personal practice until recently. Over the course of the last several weeks, as illness and death have befallen not just my family but so many others close to me, I am reminded that there are things I can do to draw closer to, and understand more about, what is most meaningful in this life. I figure observing Lent is one practice that could help me in this endeavor. So, on this Ash Wednesday, I have decided to give up sugar for the next 40 days. It will be harder than it sounds considering the American diet (my diet especially), but I will try. And when I feel the urge to eat ice cream I will think of all my family whom I love beyond words. Along the way I might even lose a pound or ten. My body is bound to thank me for that.