Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Daffodil Days

11PM or so last week I heard the garage door open. (Still tax season - only 15 days to go - and you better believe we're counting!) In came Doug with several bouquets of daffodils (green buds still tightly shut). "For me?" I blushed. "Yes. For you. And I bought some for your Mom" Doug said. "Wow! That's nice!" I replied.  It was nice - what was the occasion? 

Doug then told me about Daffodil Days. Because the daffodil is the first flower of Spring it is a symbol of hope.  ACS (American Cancer Society) sponsors a nation-wide fundraiser during March to raise awareness (and dollars) for fighting cancer.  To learn more, or donate, click here.

Friday evening, in my absence (I made a much-needed trip to Park City with girlfriends for dinner, good conversation and contraction-inducing laughter), Doug thought he would take the girls over to visit my Mom and hand-deliver his yellow tokens of hope. My Mom loved the flowers. In addition to the ones blooming in her front yard, daffodils are now blooming in her kitchen.


Seeing daffodils in my own kitchen reminds me of my mother's courage and the firm hold she has on the attribute of hope.  

She is handling her rounds of chemo like a champ, anticipating her next MRI in a couple of weeks. Soon after that, she and my Dad will travel to Switzerland to visit my brother and his family. She quietly embodies the latin proverb Dum spiro, spero - While I breathe, I hope. We love her and continue to cheer her on!

(Here are the girls saying goodbye to Doug as he leaves for work. Already in dress-ups for the morning, they descended on him with hugs and "i love yous" as he tried to migrate towards the garage.)  

Yesterday, I happened to be at my dear friend Kara's home, an hour or so after she and her husband learned a close family member had been killed in a car accident taking his daughter to school that morning. This good man (Danny) left a wonderful, faithful wife and six children ages 17 to 4. The news was devastating.  Danny was a cousin to Dave, Kara's husband, but in closeness - he was a brother.  Dave is working on the obituary and funeral program today and spent yesterday afternoon and evening with the family as a shoulder to literally sob on.

I listened to the details from Kara and cried for their loss, selfishly feeling grateful for my own intact family. I can't imagine gathering my children around me, as this mother did, to tell them of the unjustifiable event that instantly took their father.

Kara had been watching my girls for me so I could run a few errands. When I returned, Sami heard us talking upstairs. She wandered into the kitchen where I was standing. Her eyes round and bright, spiral curls aloft as she ran towards me. I knelt down and clutched her to my chest with changed fierceness.  Knowing life can end so abruptly, we cling to those we love; our steadiness shaken by the fragility and terminable nature of existence.  

Our hearts ache for Dave, Kara, and this sweet family Danny left behind. Rising out of our sympathy, however, swells a sense of gratitude - that new life, like the yellow daffodil in Spring, is not just biblical allusion - but promised reality. I guess the eternal truth of the latin proverb is that even after we (or someone we love) stops breathing, we hope.

1 comment:

  1. Garage? Just one single word in your post caught my attention. Funny how the smallest words remind you of things so long forgotten. I have forgotten what it is to have a garage and therefore, I've forgotten to miss it. Weird. Now I want a garage again. :)

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