Behold the lily of the field
Sunday April 08th 2012, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Life

The doorbell rang yesterday afternoon.

It was a man holding out a blooming Easter lily in a beautiful basket with a white ribbon tied just so, with a card: “Happy Easter, Grandma and Grandpa, love, Parker!”

And its perfume is exquisite, too. Our great thanks.

We got a second surprise today at church: Shane and Stacy were in town with their kids. They moved away 13 years ago and the then-teenage son came with his wife to show her off. He did very well–and so did she. I am very happy for them.

Shane and Stacy are the ones who, before they moved, told me I had to read this book I’d never heard of, and when the next week or so I had not sought it out yet, they told me no, you really do, you *have* to read this: “Kitchen Table Wisdom,” by Rachel Remen.

I did; it made me think. It comforted me. As a doctor and patient both, she gets to the heart of what it means to be human, and when a nurse saw me with it in Stanford Hospital three years ago, she smiled, nodding, “Oh yes. THAT one. I love her books!”

I read Dr. Remen’s second, “My Grandfather’s Blessings,” as soon as it came out. Bought my dad a copy. He read it and immediately bought six more to give away.

And I met her once at a booksigning.

As we spoke, I referred to one of her stories and told her briefly of a friend and why this story was exactly what this friend needed to comfort her in a profound and unexpected grief. To know that someone else out there somewhere knew what what she was going through was like, when I could only offer my unknowing best–I had prayed and felt strongly that this was the right thing to do, only now I needed to pray to know…

And Dr. Remen, eyes to my eyes, said in unison with me, “When.”

Months later that time came.  It was just right, as I knew it would be. It was a profound blessing to us both and has been ever since.

And none of that would ever have happened had these good friends not told me of Dr. Remen’s writing, and I will forever be grateful they did. And that they lovingly nudged me some more till I knew why.

I reread them every year or two to remind me what kind of person I want to be when I grow up.

And to take the time to pause and enjoy the lilies while they bloom. And then care for them so they will again, year after year to come.

3 Comments so far
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No coincidences. And so sweet of Parker (and his parents)!!

Comment by Channon 04.09.12 @ 6:34 am

Thank you Alison! There must be a reason why you are writing this and I am reading it, so I will go and seek out those books.

Comment by karin maag-tanchak 04.09.12 @ 7:37 am

And you were the one who turned me on to Dr. Remen’s books. You may not have noticed, but the one’s I returned to you were not the ones you loaned me.

Comment by Don Meyer 04.09.12 @ 8:45 am

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