Monday, September 19, 2011

You are not Alone

Before I really start, I have to say something.

The love and support and prayers and emails and facebook messages and smoke signals and ham radio transmissions that I...we...our family received in response to Friday's post was nothing short of overwhelming.  I shed more than my share of happy tears that day.  And every day since.  Tears of gratitude and humility.  Tears of longing to thank each of you personally.  I've said before that I'm so thankful we don't get what we deserve.  Because I don't deserve such kindness and generosity.  The love that has been heaped upon me by strangers.  Strangers no longer.  Yet there it is.  Here you are.  You.  Who said that and did that and are doing all of that.  My heart is full to bursting and I don't know how to say or show how much your prayers and love mean to us.
How many times can a person's life change?  How many times can I say "You changed my life"?  That she changed my life?  That he and they and that...changed our lives?  Can I say it just one more time?  Because it's true.  No one is alone.  We are not alone and YOU are not alone.  I know that for certain now.  In my life, I never really felt a part of anything.  I felt odd and different and alone.  I felt like a soldier of one, carrying the weight of I don't know what to a destination unknown.  But I had to do it, and I had to do it alone.

But I was wrong.  I'm wrong.  No one is asked to do this alone.  Life is not a solitary pursuit.  Whether we know it or like it or want it or realize it, we are born into a family and a country and a world and a community.  We are inextricably knit together and by recognizing that link, by exalting in our interconnectedness we, so small and insignificant, can become very big and oh so significant to one another.

When my husband was a little boy, things fell apart financially for his family.  They went from being quite materially comfortable to being very poor.  He's told me stories of two sisters (earthly sisters or nuns I don't know) who would bring their family five gallon buckets of leftover food from catered events.  They would eat the leftover food from catered events brought to them in five gallon buckets.  And they survived.  Eventually things got better and now it's just a story.  A distant memory. 

So I know things can get worse.  Perhaps they will.  I have to be ready for that.  But I'm not going to expect that.  I'm going to expect the best while knowing that if the worst happens, somehow it will eventually work out.  I know I've said that before, but honestly I wasn't really sure.  After this weekend, I KNOW.  I know that things will be okay.  That they are already okay.  Being poor is not the worst thing that can happen to a person.  Accepting charity is not the most terrible thing a person might do in their lives.  This is not terrible.

I just looked at the clock.  11:53 p.m., y'all.  Ask me if I've done any lesson planning for next week.  Go ahead...ask me!

Hah!  That is a big negativo.  Also no meal planning.  Or party planning.  Although that last one probably goes without saying.

And to think I had intended to tell you about the wok that Tommy found burried in the side of our hill.  And how we scrubbed it out and then Tommy cooked our dinner in it over a fire in a rusty, dilapidated burn barrel that he hauled into our front yard.  And how we used a plastic tiny-tots table for "prep" and the big girls insisted that it was the best day of their lives on several occasions throughout the afternoon.  But since I've already rambled on for too long, I guess I'll have to leave you wondering what it was I meant to say!

practicing those home ec skills

safety first 'round here

potatoes from our garden

note the jacket worn as cape. tres chic!

dang that's hot!

it's a rough life

"pollo al disco"

watering down the grass "you it doesn't catch on fire"

everyone's a comedian

yep, dogs prowling in the usual

Thank you.  All of you.  Thanks for hanging out with me here.  And thanks making the world a better, smaller, more beautiful place.

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  1. Dweej, I don't often speak of when my sisters and I were little but I remember when my mom used to take us with her to collect cans so that we could eat. We, the three of us and my mother, would make a game of seeing who could collect the most cans. Once we traded our cans for a few bucks, Mom would take us to the store to buy chicken, peanut butter, bread, milk and Kool~Aid. My sisters and I didn't know until we were older that we were poor. We didn't realize that collecting cans wasn't a game. And we didn't know that peanut butter and chicken weren't gourmet meals. To this day, those are some of my favorite childhood memories. Because we were together ~ the three of us and my mom.

  2. You and your family are loved. I don't have to wonder why. :)

  3. I haven't been around the blog world much lately, so I just read your last post (and this one) and I am so sorry for what you are going through. You are in my prayers and I love what the first commenter wrote. Family is so important. Sending lots of love your way.

  4. Dweej, I love love reading your blog posts. Your words remind me of all the positive things that can come from life when it's not so comfortable. And you also remind me that I need to pray more. Thank you for this.

  5. I love you, dearest! You are most certainly NOT alone! Also, that looks like the funnest meal EVER! Such lucky children!

  6. This past week, the son of a blogger I know died in an accident. And just before checking in with you, I checked in on another blogger that is dying--she is so ready to go to Jesus, I'm excited for her. Blogging isn't the obsession with being on line that people think it is. It's relationship driven, it can be love driven, it's allowing us to expand our worlds.

    That being said, 1) nice underwears, and 2) do you think it was really a wok as its original purpose?

  7. I honestly don't know how we would be managing this journey without the support and love that the blogging community has provided. Relationship is not to be underestimaed!

  8. You always amazed me with your creativity, Dweej. But then again I'm not surprised. You really are the best, girl!

    Hang in there, my friend. It will all come in due time. God's timing is always the best.

    God bless you and your family always. xoxo

  9. I really love this post! I am so glad we are not alone, too. It looks like y'all had a fun weekend and looks so similar to what we'd do around here if it wasn't so dry (we have those backpack lounge chairs!-don't know why I was excited about that.) The really tough times in our life (me and hubs) have often been the happiest. Am still praying for y'all!

  10. Hey Dwija :) I am just now seeing your post from Friday and this today. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and hope that everything will work out. I truly believe that it will. Good things happen to good people in good time. Can I say good enough?! :) I hope this week is already starting better for you!

  11. You are inspiring, you're so positive and just keep bouncing back! :)

  12. You are an inspiration. What the world would be like if there were more people like you!

  13. One day at a time is all we can handle sometimes. When it all gets bad sit down have a cup of tea and take a moment for yourself. If there is one thing I have learned from hard times it is that you have to make time for yourself and take care of yourself.

  14. Dwija,
    I love you guys, even your babies I've never met. I love your dogs, your chickens, your potatoes. You have a beautiful story and I thank you for sharing it with us. All of this tells me that things are going to work out for you all. You have my love, my prayers.

  15. That is so cool, it looks a lot like my favorite wok, designed for use over open flame with a wood handle over the metal. It is no good on an electric stove but over a fire it rocks!

    It is the family all together stuff that matters to kids, not how fancy or costly, but the time, the interactions and the love. You do good!

  16. I love this! BBQ in an oil-drum! I know poor, too. Things are good now, but I remember getting leftovers from my friend who worked at a chronically-mentally ill, homeless women's shelter.

    Lesson plans will happen. You have an unquenchable spirit, Dwija. It is beautiful.

    Love that "you know... so it doesn't catch on fire" :P

  17. Yes, we are in this together. You have each other. You have the support of family and friends and strangers. You have God. Life is good.

  18. You all have each other and your health, that seems awesome to me! We'll still say prayers for you!

    Really? Ham radio transmissions? Do tell! (I am a ham - N8LTG)

  19. People can be truly amazing sometimes. <3


  20. Dwija - what a beautiful post. You are so talented. You have a book in you, I just know it.

  21. We were poor when I was little, but I never knew it. Kids don't know about money like we do. Looks like you are creating amazing memories. Praying for you and your family!! I know things will turn around for you all!!

  22. I haven't been commenting much during my "break" but I've been reading...and prayin for your family! Keep up the positive spirit.

  23. Thank you for bringing everything into perspective. A very heartfelt and honest post.

  24. I found you over at the linkup at Write on Edge, and I'm really glad I did. I really love this post. My heart is warmed by not only the way your blog relationships have helped support you but your optomism and faith. Ending it with whole wok dinner thing was just FUN! I looked around a bit and love your style. I, too, live in Michigan and am Catholic. Combine all that...I've become a new follower of you! :) I wrote a post this week on being unafraid and linked it to one of my fav. songs. If you get a chance stop and take a listen/read. I think all of us as moms can relate!
    I'll be back...

  25. Kristi, I love meeting new Michigan mom bloggers! So glad you stopped by and commented :)

  26. We are a community. It's a gift to know it now. Glad I found your blog through Write On Edge. It's lovely.

  27. I'm glad you found the support you need!


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