Last week I sat in our local co-op grocery with three of the sweetest of friends. We listened to teens and tweens make their first attempt at a formal meeting. We listened to younger friends rambunctiously laugh their way through nearly every wobbly tall stool in the place. And I became overwhelmed.

Several physical challenges were wrapped around our family. All at once. Nothing life-altering. Nothing permanent. Yet I was overwhelmed.

Why?

I am sitting with a woman who has lost two loves. Lost them. They were taken from her. In an instant they were gone. I cannot comprehend.

I am sitting with a woman who will be central to the future of her parents. Precious parents. Parents who love to kiss one another and me. Parents who love their daughter with words and actions I cannot comprehend.

I am sitting with a woman whose steadfastness has bound her family with one another and in determination through the most devastating of challenges. She is the glue. I cannot comprehend the many months, years of wondering.

And my woes are temporary. I cannot honestly say I feel any guilt about my worry. I am concerned about my worry taking me. I am simply overwhelmed. But I was with friends. Sweet, honest, solid friends.

That evening, as I was pounded by the jacuzzi jets that ease the pains in my legs, I made a decision. I decided I am taking these physical challenges of my family’s. I am taking them. I am making them into the most sincere pause of Advent, Solstice, Winter’s Nature that I can. Not by doing, but by being.

And the treadmill I so badly want to be back up on … the walks on our trails covered in hickory nuts and dotted with mud pits? I am taking them, too. After all, I have been medically declared the most non-compliant patient in the county. Why disappoint?

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