Lord thou knowest how busy I must be this day. If I forget thee do not thou forget me. – Sir Jacob Astley
The gentleman that gave us this tiny calendar with the quote on the front was a military chaplain. I thought it was a bit judgmental, and I think he must have read my mind, because he said to keep it somewhere we will run across it. Someday it will mean something to us.
I smiled at the lady next to me. Clearly, he had no idea what it was like to send a husband off to sea, let alone walk in my shoes with a toddler and a newborn. We were at a military briefing, and the day we received it was days prior to our husbands’ extended military deployment. I had a million things to do, and quite frankly, I just wanted time with my family, so I tucked the card in the mound of papers we were given, and I hurried home.
The first time it fell out was when I was moving that pile of papers out of my way. I laughed. It was like splashing cold water in my face. Was he right? I admit juggling the demands of a busy life changed my priorities, and it was easy to let life get in the way. And the card? A visual reminder to stop.
I decided to keep it because as embarrassing as is sounds, we all need a nudge every once in a while.
Since that day, the card has been stuck to bulletin boards, taped to computer and bathroom mirrors, and shoved in wallets. It’s traveled safely to homes around the world, and always seems to show up with a move. It is always perfect timing, with a, there you are, just when I needed you, moment.
Our lives ARE busy and human nature happens. We see sad stories on the news, superficial posts on social media, and vindictiveness in politics, and we allow ourselves to be drawn into life. This doesn’t make us wicked. It is impossible to shut yourself off from the outside world. Try as you might, no one is immune to the tough stuff.
Recently, the card dropped from the inside of my medicine cabinet. I smiled thinking the dried tape adds to it’s character. Yes, it’s tattered and torn; and stained with coffee, cheap red wine, and melted iced cream and I still have it, 34 years later.
And now, it’s different. It means more then that deep breath I always talk about. It is a memory from that time when my daughters were young and I had to be stronger then I wanted to be.
It reminds me that there was laughter at late- night ice cream binges, and giggles in that glass of wine.
And the tattered edges remind me, that in the face of adversity, it is in HIS hands.
I wonder if that chaplain is still handing out the cards and if he is well. And I wonder if he forgave me when he clearly caught me rolling my eyes. Chances are it was me he was talking to when he said someday it will mean something.
He was right.
Wind Kisses, Donna