All The Joys Of Heaven

Standing here beside my stove, blinking away tears that have no real reason for overwhelming me.

Except that I am profoundly grateful for the experience of being a mother–in this town, in these decades, in this family. I am grateful for all the summer days and winter nights and all the struggle and all the joys. I would not trade my life for any other, for any price. And I suppose that sometimes I allow the strain of days to overshadow the satisfaction of the experience.

This little file, found on a thumbdrive  in the back of a silverware drawer is just a sliver, a few brief flashes recorded one summer, and yet it affects me this morning as though it were an entire illumination of what it means to love beyond understanding. I don’t know if the images hold the power for you that they hold for me, but I hope my children will remember all their lives, the blessings of their youth-spent with people who loved them, whether that was while we were getting dirty:

Getting clean:

Or getting silly:

Or just stretched out on the grass looking up through Grandma’s walnut trees:

The important thing is that we were comfortable with one another:

We helped each other down the steep parts:

Across the deep parts:

Even  when we’d lost our oars:

We gave each other the courage to take those leaps of faith:

To share our secrets:


And the deepest feelings of our souls:

We are young and old, side by side, forever family:

And we’re on the same path. You may not see me, but I’ll always be there–right behind you, every step of the way.

I love every one of you. In ways you’ll never understand–until you, too, walk this same path behind children of your own.

8 responses to “All The Joys Of Heaven

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