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Strange Things

Hard to label it.

People are leaving. A friend’s son died, a friend’s husband died, a friend is moving away. It is the normal cycle, but it brings up strange feelings.

I try to hold people loosely. It gives me better perspective when I can do that. (As a counselor, it proved very helpful.)

When it comes to family or close ones, it is right there in my throat anyway. Every time. Hard to hold loosely.

Always, I feel the pain, theirs and mine. My boys are all grown up and living their own lives. Just as it should be. Just as I want it to be. But still, this invisible mother-thing grabs hold.

Family. Whoa. Those are the people who can delight you or hurt you. Some of you probably know about that. Hey, they can destroy you until you find the proper perspective.

They usually don’t mean to, but that’s when it’s helpful to put on the proper eyeglasses.

My friends’ losses. That’s what brought all this up this morning.

I guess I am carrying their load. Usually I have the fortitude to bear their sorrows, but today seems loaded.

It’s raining.

A friend is facing the funeral of her son. He has been sick a long time, but that does not make it easier for her. She lost her son.

That and my friend who is moving, my sister’s new health issue, myself with a bout of sickness this past week. It’s all built up inside me.

Guess I haven’t given it all to God yet.

My husband is acting like a plumber, wanting to fix it.

I smile. (Men must have a built-in fix-it gene.)

I stopped to see my friend yesterday to give her a hug. No words. Just a hug. It helped me.

I watch as others distract and try to move on. I have no idea what distractors do with their feelings. Maybe they put them in motion.

Don’t get me wrong. I know the way things are is how they need to be. We lose people. Sometimes those people are loved ones. We can’t change any of that with dice or Tarot cards. Nor do I try.

But it helps me to write it down just to accept it. It helps to hand it to God and write it down. Somehow that process makes it real.

"The way things are" can also give strange relief after long illnesses or unhappy times. It’s a mixed bag and hard to sort.

I know things will sing to me again eventually, after the darkness passes. It always passes.

In Genesis, God’s people took a full month to grieve, and then God told them to let it go, get up and move on. It’s like the season of grief is over. Time to put on your walking shoes again.

The sun lifts over the mountain, whether there’s cloud cover or not. I don’t see it, but it’s there.

I know some of you can identify.

Sylvia Plath, a poet, called this time of year “the odd uneven time.” That resonates with me.

It’s a human thing to want to scotch tape things back the way they were years ago. I smile, remembering an old soap opera, “As the World Turns.” You never knew what was going to happen next, and losses of all sorts were inevitable.

No way to glue or tape it to a shape you could better live with.

It’s in God’s hands.

No way to fold or origami anything into toast with tasty peach jam for breakfast.

It’s not going to have the flavor you want, and somehow that has to be okay.

It’s in God’s hands.

The cloud cover, the rain, the slow walk up to the gravesite. It’s in God’s hands. The cocky sun is still doing its thing. God is still in charge.

It’s September and we are on the edge of autumn.

I’m already giving up color in my yard. The hummingbirds are growing fewer each day. Next, I’ll be giving up green.

It’s just part of the cycle, the plan. God’s plan. I’m grateful for the bigger plan, one that I don’t have to figure out.

Thanks for listening.


Pat Durmon


P.S.- I write about life in the Ozarks. If you have not signed up to receive my weekly blogs and you like how I write, then sign up at A reminder will then come to your email. Please feel free to share any of my blog posts.

Photo of a hummingbird taken in a valley near Norfork, Arkansas, September 9, 2018, by Christin Scallion of Norfork.

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