December 1, 2010

Fragments of Thanksgiving week.

Uncle Jim, visiting from Oregon, opened the door at Aunt Connie’s.  I stepped in warily, knowing that any moment, any one of two cousins could jump out at me.  Thinking the coast was clear, I stooped over to take off my boots.  “BOO!”  Rachael jumped out from behind the wall.  I jumped on her to hug her, and we both fell, my elbow hitting the hard marble floor.  Ouch.  Uncle Jim’s assessment: “You girls are crazy.”

Sleep fled as soon as I opened my eyes.  Rachie tumbled out of bed, sleepy but determined.  It’d be her first Turkey Trot, her first race ever.  As I washed up, I heard clanging and banging in the kitchen.  Curious about all the commotion, I wandered out to the kitchen, toothbrush in mouth.  She was making two separate breakfasts: egg and toast for me, egg and oatmeal for herself.  Awww.

Nathan grabbed a blanket for me as I sat on the couch, shivering after the race.  Three cups of tea later, I was still cold.  He scrounged about and found two more blankets for me.  I sat with the three blankets over my head for a good hour.  The next day, we found out why the tea didn’t help warm me up.  Its ingredients were spice, yadi yadi other things, and peppermint. Peppermint.  Ah.  (Palm to forehead.)

I arrived at my grandparents’ place with bags of groceries, ready to cook up a very untraditional Thanksgiving dinner.  Something was said, and the words hit like flint on my rather flinty heart.  Fighting with myself, I stepped out to pick up some last ingredients.  I had come prepared in every way except the most important — in heart.  Needless to say, and thankful to say, more than shopping happened during that last trip to the store.

My grandparents were glowing.  Hadn’t seen them so visibly cheerful in a while.  And the thought that came to mind as I interacted with them all evening?  How thornless their love.

After dinner, my mom and I took turns playing with my aunt’s three puppies.  They wiggled and squirmed and jumped whenever we called their names, but once we held them, they were still.  Content to be held.  Content to be loved.

My mom, being a mom, and a particularly caring one at that, had to ask, “Did you get your flu shot yet?”  “No, not yet.”  She admonished me with a glance and said, “You should get it soon.”  All of 26 but still a coward at heart, I told her, “Mom, I’d rather get the flu than get a shot.”  She looked at me in surprise for a second and then shook her head and laughed.  Yes.  Still a baby when it comes to needles.

My brother’s text message: “Love you.  Things are good here.”  I love him.  So much.

I woke up, my left arm stiff and sore.  I didn’t use my arm to run yesterday.  Why is it so sore? And then I heard in my mind again, “You girls are crazy.”  Uncle Jim might be on to something there after all.

Leslie and Alisa both clobbered me at their door.  They were excited to the brim, sloshing over here and there with muffled shrieks.  “What are we going to do?  Where are we going?” they asked.  “You’ll see,” I smiled, not quite so sure myself anymore.  I had ideas earlier, but the incoming dark clouds were making me reconsider.  Oh, rain.

Four tickets?” The man behind the register raised his eyebrows at my dad.  “Yes, four.”  “Sir, you’ll be skating, too?”  “Yup,” my dad answered.  I had to smother a smile.  If only this man knew my dad.  The grey hairs betrayed the kid’s heart.  He retired from rollerblading some years ago, but apparently, ice skating is still a go?

Alisa clonked over to me in her ice skates, laces all in a tangle around her ankles and skate blades.  “Can you help me?”  Her little fingers couldn’t lace her skates up tight enough.  Leslie was on the ice already, and once I laced Alisa up, she quickly made her way to the ice, too.  I slowly laced up my skates, watching them as they wobbled on the ice.  Sometimes it is sweet to be last.

I walked into the auditorium with communion juice in hand.  Something about being with church family at week’s end (or start) overwhelmed me for a moment, and hot tears escaped as I prepared the cups for communion.  Truly, we’re broken people being made whole in Christ into an eternal family.  How — well — He — loves — us.


2 Responses to “Fragments.”

  1. roommate Says:

    this made my fragmented heart happy. 🙂

  2. tia Says:

    i love you, roomie.

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