My dear friend Jean taught us years ago, and continues to teach us, about living the present moment. I struggled with the concept because my tendency is to live in the future. On the way to Vancouver four months ago with a very sick little girl in the back seat I learned the value of living in the present moment in a concrete way. When my mind would race to the future I’d start to cry and couldn’t control it. It was only in staying in the present moment and dealing with what was happening in the ‘now’ that I was able to be calm and even find some peace. It was then that I understood that God’s grace is only for the present moment. His grace was there to help me during that van ride and during the next two and a half weeks at the hospital and Canuck Place. It was in returning to the present moment and drawing on His grace that I was able to get through. And for the next three months it was the same thing, for the most part.
So now when I need to put that lesson into practice most, why am I not relying on it? I find myself not living in the future because the future is far too painful. I can’t live far into the past because it’s also too painful. But the present is also too painful. I find myself living mostly in the months from Thanksgiving when Bernadette first crawled up into my lap and I felt the lump in her tummy to the day she died. That’s where I live – and not with peace but torrents of tears. And yet at the time I lived it I didn’t cry – at least not all the time. I guess because I always held out hope for a miracle. But now with no hope for a miracle there is just the emptiness in my heart that Bernadette once filled.
There are moments when I do try with all my might to stay in the present moment and live in God’s grace, to be there for Marc and our family, to let my children know that even though I’m grieving that I love them all just as much as I do Bernadette, but it is so hard sometimes. Mostly when I’m tired I think. The last two days though I’ve come to realize that not having God’s grace to relive the past opens me up to condemnation, self-incrimination, doubt and fear none of which come from God. So why go there? I don’t know. Maybe this realization though may help me not go there quite so often. Maybe if I stayed in this present moment I will find the peace and strength to live for today. One can try and hope.
Thanks for the real heartfelt words you write Patti!
Always thinking about and praying for you and the family..
Thank you for posting and sharing your pain with us. We cannot take the load from you, but may God grant that our prayers may help you to bear it.
God bless you and yours.
Please continue writing. My heart says this is one of your gifts to me and the larger community who journey with you.
I continue to pray for you & your Family.