This morning I woke to the world awakening–our neighbor’s rooster crowing, birds chirping, horses whinnying, sunlight streaming, and a soft breeze blowing over our bed–and I sighed in contentment. I tiptoed through the house and peeked in on each of my children watching their chests rise and fall in sleeping breaths, and I found my heart growing larger with love yet again. It happens a lot. This heart growing.
It happened Thursday night when I watched my boys at their final school program. It happened Friday as I listened to my Buddy’s skits and recitations with the rest of his class, and saw his face light up when he won the M&M’s award for being a Marvelous and Mighty Student. It happened while I made a beaded necklace for my Bella and the children in Bear’s class chorused joyful excitement all around me. It happend while I watched the children run and sweat and play in their Field Day. It happened when I hugged Bear’s kindergarten teacher good-bye and whispered my thank you, tears streaming down our faces. It happened as our family circled a table at Dave’s, the boys’ favorite restaurant, to celebrate the end of a school year. And the dance of joy and sadness swirled in my heart seeing how much they had changed over the school year. Yes, it happens every day. This heart growing.
It happened last night when I watched Bear’s face fall in crushed disappointment when he learned that Daddy didn’t have summer vacation and wouldn’t be spending all the days with us, too. It broke my heart the way his face, lit up with excitement at the prospect, fell into a deep sadness, and I sat in my bed that night and cried. It’s nothing new that I cry a lot, but these days I am crying a lot more. There is just so much sadness and joy bundled in my heart and all of it is circled with love.
Summer fun began Saturday with yard sales and water play and Bella’s first birthday party she went to by herself (well, Mommy stayed). Then yesterday Bri and the children went off-roading with friends (3 dads, 10 kids–they are amazing men!) and by all reports it was a wonderful adventure full of thunderstorms, crawfish, lizards and playing in the river. And I looked at their pictures of frivolity and my heart grew more.
This strange mixture of grief and joy continued in my heart as I celebrated National Cancer Survivor’s Day with quiet heart celebrations. I told Bri last night it was a struggle to rejoice when all I could think of was those who had lost the battle or lost loved ones, and I cried tears of gratefulness that I am here, but heavy-hearted at the pain of others. I recently learned of a friend from home who passed in January to colon cancer. He was one of those good friends that you just had an easy quiet with… movies, and hanging out, and target shooting, and just laughing a lot. It has hit hard, and I cannot think of Tom without pain.. pain for his wife and daughter left alone. Pain for his close friends. Pain because cancer is a monster. And I hate it. Then I feel the warmth of my children’s arms around me and I breathe in gratefulness. God, in His infinite wisdom, has chosen me to remain here with them. And my heart grows larger as I revel in these gifts.
It happened as we made our summer list, and I watched the anticipation of all things summer sparkle in their eyes. And I wondered…
How big can a heart grow?
Happy summer everyone!
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