Many thanks to all of my family, friends, and internet companions for your well wishes on my birthday. As many of you know, it was also my dearly beloved mother’s birthday as well. I had nine months to prepare for the day and I used every one of them. There has not been one day in which I have forgotten that she is no longer on this earthly plane. Not one day. But in the end, it had nothing to do with me, really. It had everything to do with YOU, dear reader, and my mother. Instead of a day of intense sorrow, there was peace and joy.
Let me explain for those of you interested enough to keep reading. Warning: Jesus will be involved.
As I wrote earlier in the year, my mother Sally’s word for 2017 was REJOICE. She only had two weeks on earth to work on that word but apparently it was enough. My words for 2017 were HOPE and RESTORE. Honestly, though, I adopted and focused on my mother’s word and by so doing, hope and restoration followed.
Let me explain, for those of you interested enough to keep reading.
As I also wrote earlier in the year, my Reading Brain and my Prayer Brain were adversely affected by my mother’s untimely passing. For the first time ever in my life, reading brought little solace. The Bible (gasp!), bible studies, People magazine, House Beautiful, fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, the news held no appeal. A voracious reader, my appetite was gone. GONE. My Prayer Brain was even worse. Meandering. Directionless (at a time when Direction is most urgently needed! We need a job! Health! Peace! Stability! Focus!). Distressing. What to do???
Let me explain, for those interested.
On Friday night I attended a pipe organ concert at our church in St. Augustine with my father, Big Mike. The organist, Ken Cowan, play from memory eight complicated compositions. You have no idea how amazing this musical contortionist was [an grammatical edit is needed here but see above paragraph]. One of the pieces had what Mr. Cowan described as a “fugue”. After the concert, I asked my father what the musical term “fugue” meant. Musically illiterate, I could think only of the word “trance” . Naturally, my father gave me the definition almost verbatim from Merriam-Webster:
- a :a musical composition in which one or two themes are repeated or imitated by successively entering voices and contrapuntally developed in a continuous interweaving of the voice parts The organist played a four-voiced fugue.
b :something that resembles a fugue especially in interweaving repetitive elements
My interpretation was close to the secondary definition:
- :a disturbed state of consciousness in which the one affected seems to perform acts in full awareness but upon recovery cannot recollect the acts performed
This is as approximate a description of the last nine months of my year, a “fugue”. Between the moments of total functionality and quasi-normalcy, there have been many other moments of which I have zero recollection. I have done some pretty random things, like become a certified yoga instructor. (Say what? Yep. I still can’t explain it to myself.) Point, counterpoint, enter a voice or two, sing high, sing low sweet chariot.
Let me explain.
Yesterday after receiving my annual birthday blessing, I had an epiphany or three:
1) My mother came to church with me and even went so far as to engineer the liturgy for the day: Phillippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord; and again, I say rejoice!” and Psalm 23, “He restores my soul …”. While The Word in its totality has not fed me this year, the words REJOICE, HOPE, AND RESTORE have.
2) Jesus is the last person to care that I am not on my prayer game – there is no condemnation in Christ. [Romans 8:1]. Thanks, Jesus, for once again getting me off the hook.
3) Music, the language of angels, has soothed me. To quote Eric Church, I have had “a record year.” Mr. Church, Motown, and hippy dippy trippy yoga music have nourished my soul instead of books.
Finally, I took such great comfort in knowing that so many of you were hoping and praying I had a great day that I ACTUALLY DID! YOU LIFTED ME UP FROM WHEREVER YOU WERE AND I THANK YOU. I FELT THE LOVE! THERE’S A PAIR OF WINGS WAITING FOR YOU IN HEAVEN. Sunrise at the beach, a nap after, back to the beach for some vitamin Sea and D, a pitcher of beer with Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Pride and Joy at Finn’s rooftop bar, and dinner with my extended Florida family = birthday bliss. Kudos to Mr. Understanding for bringing me coffee every morning of Birthday Week. And if, in my fugue, I have forgotten to thank you for a kind note or act, please forgive me! It was not my intention. For those who perhaps have been in a fugue of their own, don’t worry! I get it now.