Monday, August 20, 2012

Doing What Must Be Done

by mhartford, used with permission
We've had lots of rainy days this summer. We got some more of those Texas-sized storms this weekend, and it reminded me that last month we were having a virtual monsoon one morning. One neat thing about a good rainstorm is that it's fun to watch. As I was doing that, feeling so very thankful that I didn't have to go out anywhere, I heard the rumble of the garbage truck. I changed my viewpoint from the back yard to the front to watch those men at work.

Honestly, I was surprised that they were out in it. It was the kind of rain that not even an umbrella can protect you from. If you have to dash from your car to a building, the umbrella might keep your head dry, but the blowing rain will get your legs and arms wet. So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that the garbage men were just wearing regular clothes -- pants and T-shirts. I guess I imagined some sort of rain suit. But no. It was their job -- rain or shine, hot or cold -- and they were doing it.

Since April, I've been dealing with a lot with my family, helping to care for my grandmother in her old age since my mom, her primary caretaker, was battling her own fight with cancer. People keep telling me that I'm doing a good job. That they can't believe how much I've been doing. But really, I'm just doing what must be done. I'm doing what any of you would do in similar circumstances, and what I know many of you have done. You've cared for colicky infants, children born closer together than you intended, children with special needs (or very average needs for that matter). You've helped friends who are in crisis, you've continued to show up at work or care for your children or serve the Lord when your life has been turned upside down by death or divorce.

I'm sure that doing their job under extreme circumstances gives those garbage men some stories to tell. I'll admit that my circumstances have gone beyond ordinary, but as I seek to care for my husband, my kids, as well as my mom and grandmother as well as doing all those things I do, I know that I've been given a story to tell. I've changed for the better. I'm learning to act on what is truly important.

For my mom, her battle is over. She did what she had to do. She fought as long as hard as she could. Longer or harder than any of us would have, I think.

I haven't written much about any of it. I was too busy doing to capture my thoughts and record them, but I hope to write a bit more about it to preserve the reality of now, because they are already being distorted by memory and circumstance, and I know that will only happen more as weeks and months and years go by.


Owlhaven said...

((hugs)) Looking forward to hugging you in person next month!


Martha said...

Oh Jenn! You have done a fabulous job doing what needed to be done. I understand that sentiment. At the time, you just do what is needed and keep moving forward. You are often in my thoughts and prayers.

dianne said...

Doing what needs to be done. That about sums it up, these things we think we could never do until they are upon us. Makes me thankful for grace. And praying for the same for you.

Leigh Ehrhardt said...


Just heard about your Mom's death last week and you know I offer my sincere sympathy. Please call if you need the listening ear of one who understands some of what you are walking through. Praying that the God of all comfort will be especially close to you and your family. Much love!

Corinne said...

I'm sorry about your mom, Jenn. Your family is in my prayers. Your strength through this struggle is a great and godly example.

morninglight mama said...

I love your perspective here, and I'm amazed at your strength. Much love!!