I'm still out here in Utah, expecting to return home Wednesday. It's been an eventful trip with unexpected, positive professional turns, which I'll explain in a later post; but the prime events were some very great memory-making moments with the family.
Life in a young family is busy. That shouldn't surprise me, but life in an Empty-Nester home is generally routine and quieter, so the impact on arrival here is joyous and fun, but fatiguing, with early rises to play, and late turn-ins to enjoy the quiet hours with the "big people." The perfect solution is to have everyone you love in one town . . . or at least in one state, but barring that possibility, it's great to at least have these visits.
A lot has happened on the home-front in the past two weeks. I spent a few days in a semi-panic, trying to get info and help Tom handle things long-distance, and then some family friends out here suffered a real tragedy, and my perspective shifted. Things matter so much less in such moments. The present allocation of time and resources often looks trivial--and worse--ridiculous. The previous "big" concerns of extra pounds, that planned back-yard project, deadlines, business and promotions pale and evaporate under the glaring light of real sorrow.
Our family has slogged through a few of these emotional tsunamis. A quick remembrance of those times, and how they felt--how bone-weary they left us, and how momentarily devoid of hope we felt at times--makes me blush over the preoccupation we give to the unessential, and it makes me weep for those in current storms.
The social networks are loaded with comments about how people are "praying for" one another. I hope so. I really hope so. I hope it's a reality and not an empty platitude. Real prayer matters. That's an essential we can all invest in.
Perhaps it's a consequence of age, or of stage of life and life-experiences; or maybe it's the result of evolving. . . I don't know. In either case, I've never known more people who needed the earnest prayers of others. For socially-awkward people like me who rarely know the right thing to say in the needful moment, prayer is the best gift we have to offer.