The Value of a Life

The Value of a Life

Yesterday I walked out front to trade our current, cheap wreath for this gorgeous one from my sister’s wedding, but then I remembered the nest. Our current wreath holds a perfect little birds’ nest, and the perfect birds’ nest cradles five little blue eggs.

Kara is the one who first noticed it, last week, on her way in. She said, “Isn’t it amazing that God made birds to make nests?” I said, “I don’t know how he thought to do that!” We marveled for a minute.

Kara isn’t here anymore.

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Mary Cathryn

Mary Cathryn

This week I am reminded once again that the world is overwhelmingly dark. That death hurts in the deepest parts. That the whole earth churns under the weight of It shouldn’t be like this! The sentence we’ve muttered a hundred times when brains and hearts can’t seem to process the loss of MC: “It’s too much.”

I’m told the body is made of 90 percent water, and I think it’s fair to say that Mary Cathryn’s insides were carbonated—fizzy and lively and friendly.

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There Are No Small Ways to Love Someone

There Are No Small Ways to Love Someone

When I told a friend that Granddaddy had died, she said she was making us dinner and that she’d drop it on the porch later. Normally I say something like, “Oh you don’t have to do that! We’ll be fine! You are so sweet!” But I just couldn’t think. I couldn’t summon the energy to turn it down, so I said a teary “thank you” and kept on parenting, poorly, kept on cleaning, clumsily, kept on stopping every hour or so to bury my face in my hands and cry. When I grabbed the package off the doorstep later that afternoon, I saw chili and cornbread muffins and coloring books for the kids, and I sobbed. The kids colored, and we ate a dinner that I didn’t have to make, and it fed deeper than physical hunger because each bite was a reminder of someone who saw me, who loved me, who was going to make sure I was taken care of that day. I knew my friend thought this was something small, but to me, it wasn’t.

It’s not small to make dinner for your struggling friend.

It’s not small to get a sitter so you can go to her granddad’s visitation or funeral.

It’s not small for you to remember that Granddaddy had the same birthday as Adelaide or his American flag cane or that you saw him a million times at our church growing up and that he was always kind. 

It’s not small at all. Not to me.

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