thothmes: Gleeful Baby on Bouncy Horse Riding Toy (Default)
Thirteen years ago, just before Thanksgiving, I had just gone out with heavy heart to buy two copies of two different Christmas ornaments. We were going to send one copy of each (one fragile ornament, and one nearly impossible to break ornament) off with our beloved seventeen month old foster daughter when she was sent off to live with her biological mother's brother and sister-in-law. She'd been with us since two weeks after her first birthday. The transfer was imminent, pending their official approval as foster parents in Kentucky where they resided. This way she would always have something tangible as evidence of her short stay in our lives. We would keep the duplicates for our tree, to mark her place in our hearts and our family.

Then, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, her aunt and uncle called to say that they had done their research on "artificial twinning" (they have a daughter whose birthday is just two weeks later than our then-foster daughter's) and had considered the effect on their niece of disrupting the bond she had started to develop with us, and had pondered and prayed, and had decided that the best thing would be to let her stay with us and be our daughter. A true act of trust and selfless generosity. Our two older kids stood speechless as we thanked them profusely, hung up the phone, and burst into tears of grateful relief, drawing them all into a family hug.

That year my oldest daughter was told in art class to make a placemat showing what she was thankful for. It was her sister. It takes pride of place on our table every Thanksgiving. At Christmas all four ornaments hang on the tree, until the day when she moves to a place of her own and takes her copies with her.

I am truly blessed. I have a soft life, and everything I need. Not everything I want, but that would be bad for me, and I know this. But that one moment, for me, will always flavor the thankfulness I feel on this holiday.


thothmes: Gleeful Baby on Bouncy Horse Riding Toy (Default)

November 2016

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A Few Words From The Wise

Speak to him, for there is none born wise.
-The Maxims of Ptahotep

In mourning or rejoicing, be not far from me.
- an Ancient Egyptian Love Song

But your embraces
alone give life to my heart
may Amun give me what I have found
for all eternity.
-Love Songs of the New Kingdom, Song #2

To Know the Dark

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is travelled by dark feet and dark wings.
-Wendell Berry

Up in the morning's no for me,
Up in the morning early;
When a' the hills are covered wi' snaw,
I'm sure it's winter fairly.
-Robert Burns

Visit to the Hermit Ts'ui

Moss covered paths between scarlet peonies,
Pale jade mountains fill your rustic windows.
I envy you, drunk with flowers,
Butterflies swirling in your dreams.
-Ch'ien Ch'i

Mistress of high achievement, O lady Truth,
do not let my understanding stumble
across some jagged falsehood.

Every Gaudy colour
Is a bit of truth.
-Nathalia Crane

I counted two-and-twenty stenches,
All well defined, and several stinks.
-Samuel Coleridge