This week has been filled with remembrances.
Sorting through years of accumulated photos, I came across so many of folks I dearly loved, now gone.
Editing my husband’s memoir of Vietnam as he works through writing chapter after chapter, I share his sense of loss— so many lives lost, so many lives irreparably damaged.
Listening to the reports of covid 19 deaths, and the vignettes of some of those who have died and the families and friends they left behind, I find myself with a grief that feels universal.
How fitting that this has also been the week our country honored Memorial Day and I turned another year older. Should come as no surprise that thoughts of grief and loss, aging and death, have hovered around me like so many invisible companions.
The scriptures often speak of life as fleeting. James 4:14 reads:”…..yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
But we also know that such awareness of our mortality, when we pay attention and honor it, can enrich our lives in the present. A friend spoke this week of a near death experience that caused him to evaluate his life, rethink his priorities and make needed revisions. While certainly not the case for everyone, I have noticed on Face Book how many people during this time of covid 19 shutdown, have spoken of enjoying richer time with their children, appreciating a slower pace, experiencing a reluctance to resume what had previously seemed a quite normal and acceptable routine.
Unquestionably in this time there is loss and grief, both personal and worldwide. But what an opportunity we are being presented to reassess, to regroup. We are challenged to be creative, resourceful; to appreciate our lives and the people in them; to open our eyes and spirits to recognize the gifts in this moment.
May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter.
P.S. Hope’s Café Bonus: If you are craving a sweet, you might try Strawberry-Chocolate Frozen Yogurt Bark. Mix 3 c. whole milk plain Greek yogurt; ¼ c. pure maple syrup or honey; 1 t. vanilla extract; 1 ½ c. sliced strawberries; ¼ c. mini chocolate chips. Line a 10×15 baking sheet with parchment. Spread mixture and top with sliced strawberries and chocolate chips. Freeze a minimum of 3 hours. When solidly frozen, remove and break or cut into pieces.