Mar 182013
 

 

I woke up this morning, March 18th, ready to compassion. Compassion originally meant “to suffer with,” so I consider compassioning to be a verb. It’s something to write on the to-do-list, something that takes time and energy. Instead of making room for it, we try to avoid compassion, or suffering with, which is understandable. Suffering with others hurts. It scares us. It breaks our hearts. But the deeper I get into this loving myself and others gig the more certain I am that a broken heart is something for which to strive. A broken heart is a badge of honor that says: I loved well. A broken heart is not always the end, but it IS often the beginning. Nobody ever changed the world with a shiny, mint- condition heart.

Today is Jack’s fourteenth birthday. My friend and fellow Monkee, Anna, is Jack’s mother. A few years ago, Jack died in a drowning tragedy. Anna has been blowing our minds with her honesty, hope, and grit ever since.

Monkees, today I would like to offer you the distinct honor of suffering and hoping with Anna. Because beside her huge grief is a well of endless hope. Here is our correspondence from early this morning.

7:51am

Glennon 

I was sort of scared to wake up today, Anna. I am suffering with you today. I don’t have much else on my agenda.
I love you so.
G

Anna 

Thanks, love. Wonderful night last night at a Mexican rest with all Jack’s buddies and families. So much love in that room. Liz is running 14 miles in the snow right now for Jack’s 14th. Doing ok, I promise!! Birds are chirping at the feeder. Love will win.

 

 

Love will win, she says.

Monkees, meet Anna.

****************

 

 

Glennon and I stood by the tea and hot water at Panera. We’d been friends through blogging for years, but had only met in person after my son Jack’s accident when she showed up to support us at his memorial service.

I put a teabag in my cup.

“Shit.”

“What?”

“Glennon, look at this! It says Longevity Tea.”

“Oooh. Not really the kind of tea you’re looking for right now, is it?” she replied.

She knew that I was hanging on to this world by a gossamer thread because every part of me wanted to be where Jack was. I was surviving, but longevity was certainly not what I sought.

We sat down with our friend Lou and started catching up. Glennon’s phone was going crazy as texts poured in. We talked about how over a period of just a few days, her post “Don’t Carpe Diem” had gone viral. I knew this personally because my best friend in NC, who doesn’t even read blogs, told me she’d been forwarded the same post by five separate people.

It was striking a chord with moms everywhere, letting them know they didn’t have to cherish every single second of this grueling yet beautiful gig called parenting. I was thrilled for Glennon and excited about the opportunities this would open up to get her message of love and light and God out to an even wider community.

“You know, Anna” she said, “I almost didn’t publish that post because of you.”

I instantly knew what she meant, but I waited for her to continue.

“I didn’t want to act like it’s okay to take it all for granted. I know you would do anything for just one more hour or even one minute with Jack.” It was true. I would.

I appreciated her saying this, and caring so much about my feelings with that huge, soft heart of hers. But I also knew that even mamas who have been kicked around by life and have faced the most tortuous circumstance of losing a child, are not able to carpe diem, not all the time. Even we, who have been given an unasked for and most unwelcome glimpse into the truth of how fleeting and fragile life is, cannot always cherish every single solitary moment with those we love. We still sweat the small stuff sometimes. I write more about that struggle here.

I think of yesterday, when I drove to pick up my husband and daughter from the airport. I’d missed them immensely, when I wasn’t watching late night TV, and was determined to love and appreciate them in the way they deserved. This seemed totally do-able when they were on the other side of the country.

I cheerfully pulled up to Arrivals and looked around. Tim texted that they were still at baggage claim, so I’d need to keep circling the airport until they came outside. At this point I had a decision to make.  Should I remind him exactly where to meet me? Or was that just my ungracious way of always assuming the worst? After all, he’s lived here 18 years and has been in and out of this airport many times; surely he knows the routine by now. Also?  He was an early reader.

But there are 3 levels to this airport, like a 3 tiered cake, so I suppose there is margin for error. Ground transportation at the bottom. Arrivals in the Middle. Departures at the top. I decided to send a preemptive text so I would have no reason to get irritated.  I texted: “Come directly outside from baggage claim NOT ground transportation.” This way, I could give him a little help, but I’d never have to know if it was my text that got him on the right track or whether it was his own abilities. Win-Win.

Except after 3 more rotations around the airport in which my equilibrium was getting seriously thrown off, Tim and Magaret were still not there.

He called:

“Where are you?”

“I’m at Arrivals. Tim, do you see busses and taxis?”

“Yes.”

“Well, you are at GROUND TRANSPORTATION. You need to come up to Arrivals.”

“Ok. See you there.”

More circling. Dizziness and irritability set in. The dog I brought with me to be perky and welcoming started looking a little green around the fur. I tried to stay positive. They’d been traveling since 6 am and were probably tired and dirty. They could use a kind welcome.

More circling and I was back at Arrivals. Still no Tim and Margaret. Another call from Tim:

“Where ARE you?”

I’m at ARRIVALS waiting for you guys. Where are you?”

“I’m right where you dropped us off on Thursday.”

“You mean DEPARTURES?”

“Yes.”

“K. I’m coming around again.”

On my 9th trip around the airport, I found them upstairs at Departures, cake tier number one, which I guess could make sense to Tim as he did hope someday to “depart” the airport and go home in our car.

I hadn’t wanted to get annoyed. I wanted Margaret to see me greet her dad with love not rancor. Tim wouldn’t have cared if I’d gone to the wrong place, so why did I? I wanted to Carpe the Diem out of our little reunion. I wanted to appreciate that Tim had just spent days giving Margaret the special experience of a trip together. Then they climbed in and Tim said something to the effect of, “I can’t believe they make you carry your bags from baggage claim all the way up to the top of the airport. That’s ridiculous.” Sweet Jesus, he still didn’t get it. He still didn’t understand how the airport worked.

Any ounce of sucking the marrow out of life today changed to just plain sucking.  I couldn’t look at him without glaring, so I looked at Margaret, the angel I hadn’t seen in 5 days. “Welcome back, Sweetie.”

“Gross, Mom. You really need to color your hair.”

There’s always room for more love and light, forgiveness and being forgiven. And tomorrow is another day.

 



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  95 Responses to “Sucking the Marrow or Just Plain Sucking”

  1. Thank you for all of these loving comments on Jack’s birthday! xo

  2. Laughing and crying with you! And thanks for keeping it real. Hugs.

  3. No one writes like you, Anna. So honored to know you xo

  4. Anna, the way you write is so amazing. You make me laugh and you make me love. I adore the amazing spirit with which you share your life.

  5. Thanks, Glennon for bearing a little of our beloved Anna’s burden today. Love you, Anna, and keeping all of you close in prayer.

  6. [...] yesterday, I read this post that introduced a blogger, Anna, and Anna’s own post about how even after tremendous loss [...]

  7. love you

  8. Anna, I don’t know you personally but I am friends with many of your neighbors and have been following your story for a while now. My heart still breaks for all you have been through, and I loved this post because is it so honest and real. I, too, had the exact same experience when I picked my husband up at IAD last month. I watched him walk down the ramp to Ground Transportation as I sat at Arrivals waiting for him, and then a very similar cell phone conversation ensued. I’m glad to know it’s not just my husband!

  9. Thanks so much for sharing. It’s obvious why you and Anna are such good friends. You both live life in the Real Lane, finding ways to laugh at yourselves/each other through the bumpy, unpaved parts. Even the potholes. These are the best kinds of friends.
    Recently I lost a friend. I had a really hard time resuming with my writing after he died, out of fear that I would offend his family – my dear friends – with the reality that I was still living. I felt guilty for moving on when I knew they couldn’t possibly be ready to do so. I froze every time I went to push “Publish.” I felt like an awful, insensitive friend. Eventually I was able to talk to his sister about it. She told me to write away. While the pain of missing her brother was heavier than she could ever describe, she found hope in my writing that evenutally…one day…life would again continue in her world too. I wanted to hug her through the phone. She compassioned me when I thought I was compassioning her. What an amazing moment.

  10. How do I not know this blog? I’ve heard of it, but have never been here. Glennon, I absolutely loved your intro.

    And Anna, as you know, I absolutely love you.

  11. Thank you both for your vulnerability and willingness to share and tell the truth. You both make this world a better place for all of us! Yes, love wins…always.

  12. Anna, thank you for sharing your heart the way you do. You have a strength and grace about you that shines, and I’m humbled just reading the words you write. Like so many others, I wish I could do it say something to help, but I know there’s just nothing to do but tell you how awesome you and your family are and say “Happy birthday, Jack! You’re an awesome young man!”

  13. Anna and G, you have been there right when I needed you. I stumbled on Anna’s blog first (right after she lost Jack and right after we lost our beloved nephew). Anna’s blog led me to Glennon’s. Dear Glennon, I believe you and I share another struggle. Your words give me insight and strength (and a laugh, when desperately needed)! So, God is good. We are led to angels, if we are open. You two have come into each other’s lives. You lift each other up, and others, as you share your stories in this larger community. Thank you.

    Life is hard. It is one step at a time. We need to be there for each other when it’s joyous and when it is brutal. To think that we are not going to get irritable, with some of the small challenges we face, is ridiculous. We can get worn out and tired while we still appreciate the gift of life.

  14. I adore Margaret and her real comments. I found you through Glennon but fell in love with your writing. Thank you both, Anna and G for “being”. For putting it out there and letting mom’s know it’s okay to have bad days, bad moments because in the end, it’s love.

    Much love to you Anna. Happy belated to you and Jack.

  15. Anna —

    I really, really suck at emotionally appropriate commentary. I do. Thanks for keeping it real and reminding us all that our failures and frailties don’t mean we have frail or deficient love.

  16. LMAO I think that’s why the title of Anna’s blog is so great, haaaa! Kids. Keepin’ it real, one box of color at a time….
    Best,
    Caryl

  17. Love that Anna. She’s one of my online faves :)

  18. Thank you, Anna and Glennon, for these beautiful words. Today would have been our daughter’s fifth birthday. We experienced so much of what you have written. The preschooler has a tantrum but then wants to make cupcakes for the sister she’s never met. There are rarely perfect days, but always days filled with perfect moments. Thank you for continuing to share your stories with us.

  19. Ok,so…swearing off this blog, ‘ceppin….I love you, Anna. You are so pro. (As my teen sons would say).

  20. LOL – as i sit her, no lie, with 119B dye in my hair, I cannot help but laugh. Even on Jack’s birthday.

    My daughter-favorite line is “Wow, Mom. Are you Wearing that?”
    “umm…, no?”

    Not any more..

  21. This posted could not be more poignent. My twins are three and they lost a classmate YESTERDAY as a result of a drowning. The young child fell into a pond in a park. As a parent I completely understand what you mean by compassion. I cried with fellow parents and teachers today. Tomorrow I will attend a prayer service at the school (our kids attend a Catholic School for children 6 weeks through high school, many of these children have special needs, a story for another day) and we are all still awaiting funeral plans. I will pray for you, Anna, and the sweet child in the twin’s class, because well, I just don’t know what else to do.

  22. Oh my gosh, I’m dying laughing about the airport and husband! Geez!

  23. Heart open to ALL of it, Anna! With you!!

  24. Dear Anna (and Glennon),
    I am especially touched by your connection and I really believe that friends (even if they are via blog) have the ability to heal and renew our faith. I also lost a child, Kate, 6-years ago this coming June. She was 4 1/2 and there isn’t a second in my day that she is not on my heart. She is a part of my being and living without her is equivalent to living without a limb — not to pretend that I know what it feels like to live without a limb — but figuratively speaking, this is what it feels like to me. Kate may have been gone a little longer than Jack, but the pain is still fresh and I have found it difficult to constantly discuss this with my friends or even mention it to people I meet because it is just so difficult and no one could imagine such tragedy. This is why having a forum and a place to express our grief is helpful and healing. Thank you both for your story and I will pray for your strength. I know Jack is with you every day. He (and God) work through friends and family and BLOGS to heal our pain. I have also had some special stories from my son regarding my daughter. Things that reinforce my belief in heaven and his special dreams and “meetings” with her are a gift. Anna, if you ever want to talk one-on-one, let me know. All my best, Kristin

  25. I think about Jack all the time, how much magic he has spread in the world, and how strong his mother must be to withstand days like this with love in her heart. Heroes, all of you!

  26. I’ll be honest and say sometimes my heart doesn’t feel strong enough to read your blogs. Flaw on my part. I sometimes think I just can’t even bear to think of what you are going through and then I think about how stupid and selfish that is. I’m a mother-in-arms…a fellow Monkee, and I know that even though I’m timid when I come to your page, your grief, strength, honesty, but most of all love for you family always makes me leave your page better than when I got here.

    Please know that so many people who have never met you or Jack or Margaret or Tim, love you all so much and are behind you through every step.

  27. Happy BIrthday to your sweet Jack…. Love this post. Anna, you have been on my mind ALL day. sending you so much love and support, I hope that you can feel it.

  28. Anna, I love your insight and your honesty. I’ve been praying for Jack a lot today and I hope you can feel our family’s love for you all. Hugs and peace.

  29. Love to Anna, love to Jack, and love to G.

    And when I lean in to kiss the kid tonight and she says, “Mommy, your breath smells like boogars,” (which HAS happened. And I was NOT eating my own boogars, thank you), I will think of your airport story and laugh.

  30. Anna,

    Compassion means to suffer with.
    Companion means to share bread with.

    Jack and I share a birthday and I am so grateful. Special days are even more special when they are shared with extraordinary people. So, today, if it’s ok with you, I’ll compassion with you but I’m also going to companion with Jack as we blow out the candles on our birthday cake.

    Make a wish, Jack. I’m ready with mine.

  31. Glennon…thanks for introducing me to a lovely human being. My world just got a little better.

  32. “There’s always room for more love and light, forgiveness and being forgiven. And tomorrow is another day.”

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today.

    Peace and Blessings to you.

  33. Anna, I cannot even begin to explain how liberating your little airport story is for me. God bless you, woman. You have every right to stay in bed ALL day with the shutters drawn ANY day whenever you want, and you’re here on this blog that’s my church with a story intended to lift some of MY burden.

    Jack Jack Jack, Happy Birthday Jack! I think of his story from time to time and send my love when I do.

  34. I love your voice Anna. I was at a memoir writing retreat this weekend in Seattle and just took the red-eye home last night (into IAD) and over the weekend I mentioned your story to several of my new writer friends because of a universal thread that they shared with you. When the taxi driver dropped me off at my front door at 7am this morning, my husband opened the door for me. After a quick hug, we heard our daughter call out, “Mommmmmmy!” in her sweet voice. He opened the door to her room and from downstairs I heard, “I want Mommy.” (I had been gone since Thursday.) I picked her up and brought her downstairs to make breakfast and drink her in. But I know now why we stopped at the front door to admire the snow for a moment. I asked her if she knew it was going to snow and as she gazed out the slim window framing the door and simply said, “Birdie, Mommy.”

    Happy Birthday dear Jack. Thank you G for bringing Anna into my life via Momastery.

  35. I constantly think tomorrow is another day (usually because I done lost all shred of salvaging today.) Even though I know you remain immensely devastated by the loss of Jack, I am glad that you admit to simply being human and still having these days and wanting to savor all the moments because you know how hard it is to no longer be able to.

  36. Happy Birthday Jack! My birthday is tomorrow. I’ll celebrate extra, just for you!

  37. Happy Birthday Jack
    XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX
    XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

  38. One of the best things you have done for your readers, Glennon, is to introduce us to Anna a couple of years ago. While I try not to put pressure on myself to enjoy all parentng moments, her writing and sharing of these gut wrenching experiences really put into perspective what is truly important in life. Her strength and spirit are awe inspiring. I am compassioning today with you Anna.

  39. Laughing my ass off. I’m irritated at your husband just reading this post. And that’s exactly how I would’ve been with my husband.

    xx

  40. Thank you, G, for sharing her with us! Anna, I won’t say I know how you feel because that can make a woman want to smack another woman – and I don’t know your exact pain, obviously. But I did post to you once before, having lost a toddler, I do know the pain and the incredible unfairness of losing a son. You are in my thoughts and prayers today; you are funny, and amazing & smart. Your family is beautiful. I just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and your Jack and I am so, so sorry. x Sarah

  41. Happy birthday, Jack. You live on in the memories of your loved ones, and in your mom’s luminous writing. Anna, you have taught me so much about grace and grief. Thank you.

    Compassioning in California

  42. I started reading this when i got into work this morning. Revisiting Anna’s story and remembering a sweet boy should have celebrated his 14th birthday brought tears immediately. So, I decided to wait until lunch to finish reading it.

    I had to contain my belly laughs as I read” Sweet Jesus, he still didn’t get it. He still didn’t understand how the airport worked.
    AND
    I practically spit my soup out at the computer screen when I read the “Gross, Mom. You really need to color your hair.”

    The power of laughter is such a beautiful thing. Thank you for sharing and reminding me that laughter after tears is such a beautiful thing! It reminds me of the Steel Magnolia’s scene at the cemetary when Sally Field is raging about how it should have been her who died and not her daughter. Then Olympia Dukakis pushes Weezer her direction and tells Sally Field “Here… Hit Weezer!” and they all burst out in laughter.
    Love love love!

  43. Sending you love and light. I desperately needed a reality check on both ends of the motherhood continuum. Thank you and know I will share my heart with Anna today to help carry her pain.

  44. though we dont know eachother, as a fellow mama- im holding your heart today, and everyday, Anna!

  45. Anna,
    I love you. Glennon, I love you too.
    Compassion.
    XoXo Susie Malachowski

  46. Holding space for your family today, Anna. And – Happy Birthday Jack. Like so many others here, I read your mamma’s lovely blog…

  47. I was laughing hysterically when you said, ” Sweet Jesus, he still didn’t get it. He still didn’t understand how the airport worked.”That is just TOO funny! MEN! Happy 14th birthday Jack! Blessings to your family! :)

  48. Compassioning the day away with you Anna, Tim and Margaret. Love will win :)

    Thank you, G and Anna for your openness, honesty and for sharing your brutiful lives with us. Oh that Margaret… love her!

  49. I was just berating myself yesterday while recalling just how much we went through to have our three children. I often feel like I should be a better mother than I am…and definitely one with more patience. However, I am the only mother my kids have and I think for the most part, they love me as I am. Thanks for reminding all of us that it’s okay to be the mother that you are.

    • Indeed. I keep a Glennon quote ready to share (don’t remember the exact post); “God chose ME for these kiddos and He knows me better than anyone, so I’m gonna be myself. My kids don’t need some fake idea of a perfect mom, they need me”

  50. This is fabulous. Reminds me of a story a good friend of mine loves to tell, where she tells her son for the umpteenth time to put the shoes on that are right in front of him, and he says, “Where are they?” which prompted her to lovingly look at her husband and say, “Oh. OK. Your mother really DID try.” ;)

    Happy Birthday to your sweet Jack, Anna. I know we have never met in person, but I visit your blog and think of you and your family often. Your stories, you love, and his memory are a gift to all of us, even those of us who never had the honor to meet him. Love, light and laughter to you and yours.

  51. Perfectly said. Sending space today to you and your family Anna. Think of you all the time as I have a son Jack’s age.

  52. Love this blog and have read Anna’s story in the past. Grieving with you hopefully all our hearts can help share the sorrow you feel.

  53. Anna and Glennon,

    Thank you for the reminder that it’s ok. That what we do is ok. Anna, Tim and Margaret – praying for you today (and many other days)! Blessings to all of you!

    ~Christy

  54. Love, love both of you guys. Compassion is hard thing but, oh so beatiful when you get it right.

  55. G, thanks for introducing and re-introducing us to these writers. Their stories and hope are so inspiring. Anna, there are [at LEAST] tens of thousands of people all over the globe mourning and celebrating with you today. Praying and claiming outrageous blessings for your beautiful family.

  56. I am constantly amazed at how God sends me to just the right place just when I need it! I just dropped off my two boys at preschool/kinder and cried all the way home. I was feeling like such a failure as a parent this morning after the constant nagging/yelling and crying on all parts this morning! I was telling myself that I was not a good mom that I would never get this time back and I needed to do better! This reminds me that it’s not always going to be easy and that’s ok. Thanks for making me smile this morning!

  57. I found Anna’s blog through yours. It really hit me hard. One because I grew up very near her–and still live in NoVa. Two- my firstborn is named ‘Jack’ (7 yrs) and descriptions and stories remind me so much of my own Lego-loving Jack. I now go to her blog almost daily. She is an unbelievable writer. I was not aware it was her Jack’s bday today. My heart aches for her and her family. My own Jack came downstairs about 10 min after I put him to bed last night and I asked what was wrong–he said “Mommy-I’m afraid I’m going to die young’. I reassured him he had a very long life ahead and that everyone in our family-me, dad, little brother would live a very long time. The whole time in my head I was thinking of Anna and her Jack. I was thinking we really don’t know do we, but we are going to make the most. So sad.

  58. I love you Glennon, and because of you, I found Anna and love her. I almost lost my son to a drowning accident at 15 months, so while I don’t KNOW her pain, I know her pain, and I CERTAINLY know that even though we feel like we should – especially after being flat out TOLD by God that we should cherish every second – it’s just not possible. There are TOO MANY IRRITATING SECONDS! I’m just glad to see someone else put it out there. :)

  59. I am writing with tears. Dear Anna who I have never met and probably never will. Sending you a big hug today. Oh how I cannot imagine what it must be like to lose a son. People always say things like “god’s will” and “everything happens for a reason” but I just don’t buy it when it comes to losing children. I am angry at the universe for you. I hope that you find a place of healing some day. I hope you see Jack in many different ways today as a reminder that he is out there and lives on through your memory of him. I am certain that your pain is shared by everyone who read G’s blog. Many big hugs to you today and every day.

  60. Thanks for the reminder of Jack’s birthday, Glennon! And great post, Anna – I think I would have reacted the same way you did, going round and round and round that airport while my husband remained oblivious to the chaos he was wreaking.

  61. I think I may need to print off two important quotes from this post and put them on my fridge where I can see them every day. One being the title “Sucking the Marrow or Just Plain Sucking” and the other being “Don’t Carpe Diem.” As mothers, I feel like we are expected to constantly be happy and ‘in the moment’ with our children and frankly, that isn’t reality. The truth is, life is hard, we all have struggles, and sometimes we get caught up in the ‘damn, this sucks’ moment… and that is okay.

    A dear friend of mine lost her 3 year old daughter in June in a drunk driving accident. Every night when I go to sleep, I pray for her healing and am reminded how blessed I am to have my children with me. But, the next morning when we are arguing (“No you can not wear your underwear on your head”), looking for lost bookbags, and I am picking up stale Pop-Tarts from in between the couch cushions, that moment of feeling blessed escapes me and guilt for not ‘sucking the marrow’ sinks in.

    Thank you Glennon and Anna for reminding me that it is okay to not carpe diem or suck the marrow every day. Thank you for being real. Thank you for being… you.

  62. Thanks Anna (and Glennon for posting). I can absolutely relate to the great effort it sometimes takes to carpe diem. I believe when we are conscious of our intent, the universe takes an extra step just to test us and make us stronger. Glad we can always, eventually choose to laugh about those moments.

  63. Suffering and hoping with you too Anna. I think about your whole family often. I saw Glennon’s post, saw your family picture and said to mu husband (who knew who I was talking about) “Oh somethings going on with Anna” …as would the tight bunch (virtual!) girlfriends we are! Lots of love and prayers always Anna. I am always grateful that Glennon shared such a gem with us.

  64. Word, Anna. Word.

    I think of you and your family so often. Love.

  65. “Sucking the marrow”? Please stop hanging out with Kelle Hampton.

    • Uh-oh… I like our “everybody’s in” motto. It seems like it would be kind of a pain to change it to “everybody’s in but HER” (whoever that might be).

      Also, this doesn’t really matter, but isn’t it conceivable that Glennon and Anna independently know Thoreau? It IS a common phrase… maybe the “sucking” pun, which I love, is their own? Sometimes I find the original quote a little overused, too, as you clearly do. I think that’s pretty much the point Anna’s making: even our most famous lines about living intensely in the moment become cliches, calcifying their ability to truly draw us into the very mode of living they’re trying to inspire. I guess we need that “skilled, vigilant, flexible, unemphasized, enthralled catching of happiness” that Larkin calls being “dull.”

  66. I have been thinking the past two weeks about pity vs. compassion. And how pity is where you look at someone’s situation and say, “Awe, that’s sad.” Oh! How I loathe pity! But compassion is where you feel someone’s situation as if it happened to you. And then you really feel it. And then you love through that feeling. A deep sense in the heart. Always a good to have a reminder to Compassion….

    • Perfectly said! Love it!

    • yes, love it. I think it was Pema Chodron who said pity is between a healer and sufferer but true compassion is between equals.
      love that,

      • Yes! One and equal… Since we are all compassiony – have you ever mentioned the Charter for Compassion here? (I’m kinda new) I know the monkees already live it, but could sign it too…I like the initiative.

  67. Anna,
    I have had that exact experience at Iad.. Loved this post… Totally made me laugh out loud… Then I cried reading your story again. Sending hope, faith and comfort your way. Thank you.

  68. Sweet Anna — I will take special note of all the blue ribbons today. It amazes me every day how many are still tied to mailboxes. And I won’t worry about the Legos that will surely cover the floor by the end of the day, new organizational system or not. Happy birthday, Jack.

  69. “the deeper I get into this loving myself and others gig the more certain I am that a broken heart is something for which to strive. A broken heart is a badge of honor that says: I loved well. A broken heart is not always the end, but it IS often the beginning. Nobody ever changed the world with a shiny, mint- condition heart.”
    –> THIS is so true. I was trying to say this exact same thing to someone this weekend and could not find the words, but you had the words G. Thank you for them.

  70. Thanks Anna for sharing your heart. You’ve lived through something that I know would break me in such a way that I don’t know if I’d ever get back together. This is the only snippet of your story I know, but it’s all I need to send up a prayer to the Big Guy asking him to give you an extra dose of strength and peace today.

    Glennon, thanks for always reminding us to be “compassioning” with others. It’s what makes us a community. It’s how we make LOVE WIN. Have a great Monday ladies!

  71. Beautifully expressed. Thank you so much for sharing the experience of vascilating between wanting to embrace and wanting to throttle. It’s part of the trapeze art of mothering, and always valuable to be reminded.

  72. Glennon, as always I start my day looking for a new post. Thank you for the heart metaphor. I suppose we can look at that broken crack in the heart as a way to let the light in, to clean us, to prepare us for new ways of compassioning and being and beginning again. Anna, to you I send thoughts of love and strength as you go through the day. And many more days. I’m sending a RAOK today to you in honor of Jack. I’d send hair color, but I am hair challenged (ask my husband). And tell Liz to run fast – snow is COLD!!!!

  73. I will try to be a gentler, kinder person today to honor Jack’s 14th birthday. Sending love to you Anna, Tim, and Margaret.

  74. Oh this made me smile. Before seven this morning my just-teenager stomped into our bedroom, growled at me because I’d forgotten to do something, complained because she didn’t have a mirror in her room (she broke it because she stood on it because the MESS IS SO BAD) and then stormed back downstairs in a temper. Ommmmm, forgiveness. And there’s always tomorrow. And I love that other teenager-mothers look at me in shops (“I’m not wearing THAT, it’s disgusting”) and we share that smile of recognition that I used to share with other toddler-mothers when our babies were lying on the supermarket floor tantrumming. More ommmmm. Keep on ommmmm-ing, and we might all make it. :)

  75. Thanks, ladies, for always keeping it real. I’m due for a root touch-up, myself.

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