Me: “If I lay really still, she’ll somehow sense I’m asleep, have mercy on my soul, lay down in her crib, and go back to sleep”
Me: *sigh* “No mercy for Mommy. Maybe Patrick will get up and go to her?!”
Turning to my partner for support I remember that his depth of sleep can withstand a parking garage full of car alarms during a thunder storm.
Daughter: …Mommyyyyyyyy…MommYYYY…MOMMY, WHERE ARE YOU?!?!”
I shuffle out of bed, into her darkened room and towards her outstretched arms.
Me: “No, Honey. It’s late, go back to sleep.”
Daughter: *moan* “Up, Mommy, uuup!”
I kiss, lay her down and walk out.
5 shuffles to her room, 4 “You are My Sunshine” encores, 3 drinks of water, 2 meltdowns (her’s or mine, not quite sure), and 1 nonstop, FOUR HOUR marathon later, I was frustrated, exhausted and delirious. 4:45 am, white flag waving, I carried her to our bed where she fell asleep.
Tactics To Tissues
The next night, while scanning Facebook, I mentally prepared for the midnight battle of wills and whines.
“She’ll cry it out a bit, hit the hay, and we’ll all get sleep!”
The caption caught my eye: “Father Sings to His Dying Newborn Son.” Tears streamed as I read how James Picco lost his wife, Ashley, soon after she delivered their son, Lennon, who was born 16-weeks early. I watched as James sang “Blackbird” to his son just days before Lennon died.
Later that night…
Autumn woke again. This time, I rocked her, wept and thought about what such a moment would mean to James, Ashley and Lennon. As we rocked, I pictured the Picco’s and thought,
“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, for this moment, for her tiny body, her breath, her hands clutching my shirt, her warmth, and even her whine, now the most beautiful sound in the world.”
I Am Grateful Today
I read the beautiful words of thankfulness, blessings, and joy, James wrote to his Facebook friends; words expressing the love, honor and privilege he experienced while getting to know his precious gift… his son.
Then the following insights flooded my mind:
● There is ALWAYS something for which I can be grateful. I truly believe I am loved by the Divine and anything that happens to me is for my highest good. Even as the winds seem to assault my very essence, this wisdom allows me to authentically say, "thank you," in the midst of the storm.
● When I am able to remember that wisdom flows through even my most difficult experiences, my body and mind are able to find stillness. Through this stillness I can focus my mid on thoughts which allow compassion, peace and gratefulness to fill my heart. It is from this place that the gift of wisdom eventually fills my mind.
● It is not possible for both difficult emotions like envy and divine emotions like compassion to drive my thoughts at the same time. When one is present, the other must sit in the backseat. Which emotion occupies my drivers seat at any point in time is completely up to me.
● Gratefulness is a place where pain can be transformed into peace. When difficult emotions get the best of me, I can enter the hall of gratefulness and with each courageous step watch the difficult emotions transform into blessings.
● During those dark hours when I cannot find the hallway of gratefulness, I can set the mood with music, state the intention, “I am grateful today” and wait for my body and mind to catch up to the claims of my Spirit.
I Would Love The Company!
What would change if we took time each day to “peace, be still” the busy parts of ourselves, align them with the Divine and express gratitude in the moment?
Someone once said, “The bush was burning the whole time, Moses was the only one going slow enough to see it.” I see the bush as the many blessings with which we are gifted every moment of every day. In memory of Lennon and Ashley, I plan to keep a gratitude journal for at least one month. Each day I will slow down and see the multitude of burning bushes in my life.
Will you join me?
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