Saturday, February 21, 2009

Joys and Sorrows

At my UU church we have a traditional piece of the service where we share our personal joys and sorrows with each other. Since thoughts of both a joyous and sorrowful nature have been weighing on me the last couple of days, I though it best I share mine here.

I have a sorrow, and a joy.

My sorrow is that my Great Aunt Fern (always Aunt Fern to me) had a stroke last Thursday. We don't know if she is going to make it yet or not, or what her life may be like if she does pull through.

Aunt Fern is a difficult case. She has caused a lot of consternation in my immediate family. Some in my family focus on her tendency to be self-serving, and she does have a selfish streak, but I believe there are more than enough psychological reasons for that behavior that I won't go into here. What I've been focusing on these last two days is not her mistakes, but the fact that she is one of only a few examples of living in joy that I remember from my extended family. She has always seemed to take great pleasure in life, and in living it to the fullest. She is patriotic, and religious, an all-around all American lady in the old-fashioned way; yet she is also feisty, and independant, and shrewd. What I take from her example is that a smile and confidence that you have the right to be, do and say exactly what you choose will take you further than just about anything else. I pray that she will recover, and continue on living her life to the fullest, but even if she doesn't I'd like to thank her for being a smiling face in my memory, reminding me that we make our own happiness.

My Joy.

As most of you know, I'm a Girl Scout leader. In the last couple of days this has been causing me stress as I try to be the willow and bend in the winds of my parent's needs. The problem is that lately I've felt as if those winds have become gale forces and that rather than accepting a compromising bend, they want me to snap to their will. Or, in other situations, they aren't a wind making themselves present to my tree at all, they are simply blowing away, leaving wasted money, time and effort in their wake when they don't show for meetings or pre-paid events.

Probably I'm being too sensitive, with my family stresses and all, but this behavior has left me questioning why I bother with Girl Scouts. Then I got to spend time with some of my girls at booth sales today and I was reminded how much I care for ALL the girls in our troop.

These girls are all unique, yet they are all graced with a loving kindness that is so beautiful and precious and I am so happy to be a part of all of their lives. Being at our troop meetings I may get stressed out or pushy about scheduling and rules, but when I take a moment to just enjoy what is going on around me I feel really blessed to have so many truly great kids as part of my life. It may sound kooky but I really love these girls and I am so inspired by the knowledge that amidst the sea of indifference, hatred and selfishness that is our society and our younger generation there are these beacons of light shining a love of life, a joy in helping others and a compassion so deep it puts us grown-ups to shame, into the world. So, these children, these bundles of goodness are my joy.


HomeSlice said...

oh chrissi i am so sorry about your aunt. please keep me posted. and i loved your post - seems like sorrow and joy go hand in hand.

Christina said...

My aunt Fern passed away this afternoon. She was a great lady and will be missed.