Thursday, April 28, 2011

Egg Salad & Sunshine

To say this week has been stressful might be an understatement.  With storm warnings, from floods to funnel clouds, we've been in a constant state of alert.  In fact, I feel our family has spent more time huddled in our safe space than in the other parts of our home.  It's difficult to concentrate on every day life when you fear for the safety of your family and friends. 

In addition to the chaos of the weather, "life" has decided to take this opportunity to rain down on us.  It has demanded our attention, whether we wanted it to or not.  Flat tires...broken visits...and more.  At one point, I just started laughing, admittedly after a crying spell, because it just felt as if we were the stars of a sad country song.  But then, maybe it was best to just get all of the sogginess out in one week?  As annoying as they are, flat tires just don't hold the same weight against the dangers of a tornado and visible funnel clouds in our backyard.

Each night this week, I have fallen asleep while praying, feeling as if there's so much more than usual to pray many I feel obligated to protect.  Each morning, the sunshine has reminded me to be thankful for another day, to be joyous in the safety of my family and friends.  Last night, my prayers were extended to my work family in Alabama and my heart went out to all of those who are suffering through the devastation.  While I felt relief for another morning with my family and home whole, I know there are those today not able to share that joy.

Having been through devastating loss, I know that in those moments even small rays of sunshine are sometimes difficult to see.  In the center of the storm, all you seem to find are clouds of grey.  What I know though is that the sun does return....slowly, you begin to see the silver lining.  If only for a few hours, you welcome the warmth the sun brings.  No matter how dark the hour may be, light is somewhere at the end of the tunnel.

 - - - - - - -

This morning, as I was sharing coffee and breakfast with my husband, I was overcome with memories from my childhood.  In the midst of my worries and sadness for those who may be facing loss today, I found a glimpse of sunshine.

With the many leftovers from Easter, I decided to attempt making egg salad.  It's a sandwich I loved as a child and always reminds me of my grandparents.  Egg salad was a constant at their home and something we would take on picnics and road trips. 

As soon as I bit into the sandwich, it was as if I was still in the backseat of my Grandpa's Sunday car, riding with them to church.  I could imagine the backs of my chunky legs, sticking to the leather seats, and swinging my feet back and forth.  I could smell my Grandpa's cologne, envision his starched suit and his large hands on the wheel.  Grandma sitting beside him in the front, would be reminding us of our manners before we arrived, as she passed back our snack of egg salad for the ride.

And as I kissed Tim out the door and felt the sunshine on my shoulders, I was reminded again of a favorite song from childhood.  Somehow, my cousin Jennifer and I learned the sign language to this song and we would sing it while playing outside.  I could picture us, sitting on the grassy hill above our grandparent's home, moving our arms and hands to the melody of this tune and singing it together.

This unexpected mini trip down memory lane reminded me of a simpler time.  Of fond childhood moments, forever captured in my mind.  Funny how something like egg salad and sunshine can make your day all the brighter.

For all those facing storms this week, whether from the sky or in your hearts, my thoughts and prayers are with you.  May you find sunshine in your days, even but for a moment, and may you pause in it's warmth and welcome the light.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. - Psalm 34:18


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