You may have noticed that I have been at a loss for words lately. Passing strange. Not a one has entered my head. At least none fit to print. My silence occasioned a phone call from a friend in Winnipeg who reads Dawsonwood, and who had begun to wonder if I was ill. I can't tell you how much I appreciated that.
So, first things first. Robbie is fine. His new dose of medication is working much better. He has incredible upper body strength and can grip my arthritic fingers with enough force to make me gasp. He manouvers all over the living room and is disappearing around corners and opening seemingly impenetrable cupboard doors fastened with giant magnets. He loves ripping up phone books and magazines. He is taking to reading, as this photo shows and he has something of the little professor about him, I think.
Rachael and Spencer, my two older grandchildren, are looking forward to Hollowe'en with keen excitement. Spencer is going to be "a scarey pirate with bones" and Rachael, with all of the costume angst of diva is going to be variously, a dalmation, a poodle, Dora the Explorerer or Princess Ariel. Robbie may be a pumpkin if he goes out. And next year, AAAAgh! there will be four of them decking out for "Trick or Treat"...or as they say mysteriously in Winnipeg "Hallowe'en Apples." (So what regional variations to the Hallowe'en door cry have you noticed where you live...a propos of not much?)
My daughter Barbara has had a wretched bout of mono and I have been looking after Robbie daily from 7 a.m.. While purportedly looking ten years younger than my actual age, suffice it to say that I am not as young as I once was. I haven't had the energy or will to do much writing...and truth be told, it is an effort to hang on to the mostly positive outlook I like to maintain in these posts. Not that I am above a rant or two. I don't have the strength. The mono has strained, but not swamped the ability of this family system to cope. It was inevitable after a year and a half of high stress, Barbara's immune system would cave in. But I would like God to know that it has rained enough on the just of Muskoka lately.
I had a little weep in church last week. Someone was wanting to know what happened to about a dozen dollar store bud vases. Yes, this is the kind of thing which can happen even in a church with six people in it. Somehow this hadn't really registered on my radar as important. I felt so helpless about the bud vases. I was even more helpless when it was noted that the emergency church telephone was missing, although I have a hunch or two in this regard. Everything is relevant.
The rain falling on the just in Muskoka is nothing to the rain falling on the just in Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, India and Kashechewan on James Bay in Northern Ontario. The world seems to be awash with displaced persons, the dead and the dying.
I don't have the courage to watch the news lately. Compassion fatigue. The numbers are meaningless to me...1,000 here, 1,000 there...more. This many dead. That many homeless. Pictures of bodies. Rubble. Water. Wind. God In Heaven. What are my little woes compared to all of this?
And still there are places where a child will say, "Daddy, I want to be a martyr. Can you get me some explosives?" And still there are offices where leaders say, "Git 'em." As if the rain falling on the just and the unjust were not, of itself, a sufficiency of suffering.
Bless you all, wherever you are, whatever personal and collective deluges overwhelm you.
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.