22 June 2009

in this moment

hope your weekend was happy. it rained and it poured and it was sunshiney. it couldn't make up it's mind. but still, it was beautiful and green and good. i saw my favorites. i ate my favorites. i snuggled my favorites. i learned a lot. there were late night chats, mango salsa and laughter with old friends. dan took benj to the fathers & sons church outing. i don't know who was more excited, the father or the son. both happy as clams. then there was a women's saturday church activity to be in charge of. not to mention, a father's day breakfast full of bacon grease and syrup and surprises. including a big fat drill. when in doubt, choose power tools.

but first, let me back up. saturday, i learned something worth writing down. i learned that serving others is a good way to love others. i learned that me and a 40+ lady can become best of friends while mixing vats of salad together. we discussed the art of candied almonds. she made an amazing (and ginormous) batch. at the beginning of the long day, i felt sorry for myself that i would be stuck in the kitchen while everyone else got to go to uplifting lessons, hearing messages about God and love and happiness. i later realized that i learned a lot, right where i was put.

i learned from a woman who had lost a son to a drowning accident eight years ago. the anniversary of his death happened to be the day she mixed salad with me. saturday. she did not complain about having to serve hundreds when maybe she could have been quietly visiting a grave. instead, she was cheerful and a bit tearful, but happy and sweet. she became my friend. we drained sixteen cans of mandarin oranges while talking about life. recently, i have thought a lot about grieving and learning to live life after a horrific event happens. i can't imagine how i would cope, but i do believe that we will be made strong if we need to. i believe we can rely on something bigger than ourselves. i learned from this wonderful woman that we can move ahead and keep life going, even though hearts are breaking. she told me that she reads our local paper searching for obituaries. if ever there is a death of a boy in his twenties (like her own son), she writes a note to the family and tells them that she is available, if needs be, just to listen.

the moment i heard her explain, i paused and thought how incredible it is that she has turned her pain into action. as so many do. i am amazed that those who have lost go on to help others. i thought, wow, what a great person. here i was feeling sorry for myself about being put on the kitchen staff, while she smiles and serves salad, amidst painful memories. once again, i learned more than ever to appreciate what i have. to appreciate who i have. to love deeper. to live bigger. and to not feel sorry for myself but to look around and see what i can do, see how i can help, see how i can make a difference, see what ways i can make a change for good.

i learned that mixing salad with a stranger can bring about a new friend and a lesson worth remembering.

24 comments:

Nessa said...

what a great lesson for us all - thank you

justatitch said...

Marta, thank you for this. First of all, I love that you were honest about wishing you were in church and not mixing salad---I find myself so disappointed about "where I'm placed" sometimes. It made me tear up to read this woman's story, and then to hear how she turns it in to something so powerful and thoughtful. This gives me a lot to think about. Thanks for sharing---blessings to you and your salad partner.

---Amy

Sarah D said...

What an incredible story and lesson. I think we have all been there at some point. I know I have many moments when I need an attitude adjustment. Thank you for telling this story and helping me realign my perspective!

KJ said...

truth, dear Marta.

how did Benji do on the camp-out? Any tips for camping with a wee baby?

hannah said...

Sweet story, Marta! Thank you for sharing it with us.

lucinda said...

marta, what you dont realize is that you probably helped her on a very difficult day. i do not think it is an accident you have become friends with two grieving mothers who have lost their sons...your story helped me see that even though there are days that my grief is too much to bear, i can and will go on...and it is by helping others that i am able to make sense of my loss, the same just might be true for your new friend.

thanks
XO

Megan said...

Marta, this post is wonderful. What an incredible person. It brings a tear to my eye that she reaches out to mothers that she doesn't know, never has met... I am amazed at her courage. Thank you for sharing.

Hil said...

Marta, I love this post! It is true how you can learn lots by being in the kitchen serving while others are participating in the activity. That is one important thing I have learned serving on those committees.

What an amazing woman. Thank you for sharing that story!

Enrichment was wonderful by the way. You women did an amazing job. Thank you!

wunderbug said...

mm. SUCH a great post, marta.

i heard a sermon a while ago about the man who was lowered through the roof of a house by his friends so that jesus could heal him - the message wasn't just about having faith, but about how the man then took his mat that was once a sign of his weakness, and how it could be transformed into his testimony, his strength. this woman's story echoes these same themes, and i love it.

thanks so much for sharing! xo

Jamie and Jared said...

Neat post. Mark Twain said that "the best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer somebody else up." I believe it and try to live it.

Jo said...

What a beautiful post.

Krista said...

thank you for this wonderful post. a perfect way to begin my monday.

Jen Anderson said...

so good, thank you!

becky said...

thank you for sharing this...

i lost my daughter almost 5 years ago and to hear this makes my heart ache for your new friend. but i can guarantee that she needed that just as much as you did.

crissy said...

Thank you for sharing this experience.

Amy said...

Sounds like a great day. I love those type of days.

Thanks for sharing.

P.S. said...

I love this post. I want to print it out and keep it for that day I get called to kitchen duty.
Thank you for writing and sharing. You are one of a kind.

Amanda said...

I have to agree with the lady. Today was the third anniversary of my friend's death (fell 50-100 ft from a waterfall) and I left work early to go be with him at the cemetery for awhile. I wore the black dress I wore to the funeral but this time flip flops. I was chased by honeybees awawy from his grave and then stood in a sudden, heavy rain. It was raining when we said our goodbyes. I was soak to mid-thigh, ran out by the rain, so I went to my friend's house and took her grocery shopping.

I'm moving in a few weeks, my first time out on my own. The days when I could visit the cemetery, take a friend shopping, anything will be done soon. I'm scared but thankful that I know the end of this way of life is approaching. I don't want it cut off short. So I'm hoping that on the 8th anniversary of his death (he was 20), I will be strong enough to do something besides sit at the cemetery and whisper my thoughts and prayers.

Dansie Family said...

thanks. i have lost two good friends in the last 2 weeks, and both were serving the youth when they passed away. one, a 77-year-old scoutmaster passed away from injuries sustained at a triathlon he puts on for his scouts every year and the other was a counselor in yw who passed away at girl's camp. it is hard for me and even harder for their family, but i receive some comfort knowing they passed performing service and they are being rewarded for their deeds now.

Dansie Family said...

oh and i am so jealous that dan took benji on father's and sons. james was not allowed to go because he is not potty trained yet.

ALFIE said...

thank you:
for the reminder that being where we are supposed to be isn't always where we want to be. and that we often find inspiration in the most unlikely of places.

Tiffany said...

Absolutely beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing this.

Diana said...

I got chills when I read that the woman reaches out to others who have lost their young sons. What a sweet and selfless thing to do. That's why I love coming to your blog, Marta. Some days, it's adorable photos of your Benji boy and other days, it's a new recipe or craft to try. But through it all, your blog is so inspiring. Thank you for being out there, writing for the world. :o)

dragonflydreamer said...

Marta, I have been reading your blog from the beginning after stumbling upon it. I kept being drawn back. I have been stuggling with grief and heartache that I can't seem to get over. Your link to the blog post about Ava has made me begin doing atleast one life affirming thing every day. I truly believe I've been drawn here for a reason. Thank you for writing your blog and sharing your thoughts, inspiration and slices of your world with us.

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