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Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Postman

28 years worth of waking up before dawn; walking miles and miles in extreme heat, rain, snow, ice, sleet, and hail; countless falls off iced over porches no one cared to clear; and so many lives touched by the mailman who has always lent a hand along his route. All the elderly who watch for him with a coke or coffee waiting, because maybe he's the only conversation they'll have that day. His college degree didn't take him where he thought it would, but 28 years ago he did whatever he had to do in order to support his family and he ended up as a letter carrier. Not his plan, no, but definitely God's! He'll probably never see past mistakes he's made in his life, but I do. I've had the privilege of watching this man through an analytical eye that was probably old before my time. I remember when he started at the USPS when I was 5. I remember the smell of Aramis cologne when he'd kiss me goodbye in the mornings, working to make sure my mom could be at home with his kids, where he believed we should be. I remember him coming home and collapsing in bed from the exhaustion of his new job. I remember running when he'd walk through the door in his blue shirt soaked with sweat and we'd hang off his big, strong arms. I've watched his spirituality change and grow with the years and I know undoubtably how many people on his route he's given a glimpse of Jesus to, whether he realizes it or not. Oh, no, he didn't end up as a letter carrier by chance. For 28 years he's carried out his role in a divine plan.
I watch him now as his body has started to turn on him. I see the pain in his eyes that he doesn't often voice, I've prayed with him before surgery and definitely for him after. I've watched his muscles cramp and the days get harder and harder. But, I'm prouder of him now than I was as a little girl who thought her Daddy was the biggest, strongest guy in the world and could do pull ups on his biceps. There's a different kind of strength in him now. Now, as my kids run to meet "Pa-pa" at the door in his blue shirt. Now, as he decides on giving up "his" route for one that doesn't require walking. Now, as I look back on my life with understanding that my brother, sister, and I were always his "why" for working as hard as he has.

Congratulations to the greatest man I know for 28 years as "The Postman." And, thank you, to my Dad, for always making me your "why." I love you.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mothers Day

I had the thought tonight: What about when she is gone? Who, then, will make sure I get a strawberry cake on my birthday? When she is gone, who will cherish my birthday like a badge of honor, basking in her own memories of sacrifice, change, pain, joy, fear, and accomplishment of... me? Who else bears all the scars of my life right along with me? (Maybe more so than me.) Who else, but she, will sing to me over the phone on "my" day every year with a faded picture in her mind of me at every stage of life, all combined in to a holograph of sorts, that only maternal eyes could quite see? Who will be championing me on in every facet of my life and who will always choose to see my potential beyond what I think I can reach? Who else was there to bear witness to that golden haired little girl's magical world that was lost to knowledge and logic and time? If she's gone, will I still know who I am? Because she is where I came from, painstakingly, I left her body and began to pull away. So slowly, at first, unnoticeably so, but seemingly faster as time stole away the days in a whirlwind that I now see in my own first born's life. My own golden haired girl starts now to put away her make believe for boys and clothes and goals. And I understand, now, what a mother's love means.
I wonder, when my mother is gone, who will cling to me no matter how hard I pull or fast I go? Who will stretch themselves beyond their own comfort to make sure I'm not too far away? When I weary from life's travels, where will I go when her arms are gone? Because I know, no other love but hers, will quite that way encompass me.