I grew up in the South. We had a huge Forsythia shrub which bordered our neighbor’s yard, planted by my mom, who brought clippings from her grandmother’s yard, in Mississippi. That shrub was rooted in my mother’s heart, a piece of home for her. She would bring in clippings to force bloom when winter felt a little too long. It was a ritual that brought warmth and hope into the house. Soon, the azaleas would bloom and then, Spring!

I walked past them at first. I was in a hurry to buy “easy food” so the next morning wouldn’t be so crazy while the kids made their lunches. But I circled back toward the front of Trader Joes, where the brown branches were displayed. I imagined my mom clipping limbs for FREE and here I was, paying good money for bundles of dead branches. And now they sit beautifully dead on my piano in a vase that probably came from my mom’s house. Waiting. I see the beginning of tiny pink blooms. I don’t even know what kind of bloom it will be or if I scored the branches correctly…but it seems appropriate to stumble out of my bedroom in the morning to see the branches, waiting, in the dark.

During this Lent I don’t even know how to wait. I’m impatient and busy. I’ve had a cough for a week that is freaking me out. A little cough that won’t go away could be nothing. Allergies. Or-it could be tumors growing. Thankfully I have a scan today (I won’t know results until the weekend, FYI) so I won’t have to wait much longer.

Hoping in the waiting. Waking up this morning, coughing and thinking, “I’m still coughing.”

“This house is a mess.”

“I should do the laundry”

“I really should exercise”

“I’m still coughing”

“I should drink some tea and get a blog going.”

Today I’m praying as I’m writing: Help me wait well. Help me truly live this day. Help me to see my children, to hear what they are really saying. Forgive me for my biting words and ugly thoughts. For rushing past the dead branches. For not noticing tiny blooms. Wait with me, Jesus.

If you’re reading this, you’re aware I’m now writing in this new space. My Caringbridge site will be active still, but strictly to keep track of my medical issues. I hope to write more often here, about ways I’m learning and struggling with truly living my life each day. I’m sure I’ll include thoughts on being a mother, wife, cancer fighter, teacher, daughter, friend…..

I look forward to many mornings in my sunny hippy Berkeley cafe, writing while living life, waiting for Spring.

9 thoughts on “Waiting

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  1. Kay would be so proud that you treasure those small things about her. I always think about how well she loved her guests–going the extra mile for everyone at your house. I’m proud of you too and love you so very much, my friend.


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