I have developed a system for buying greeting cards, an inner "gauge" (for lack of a better word) that tells me when I have found just the right one for the occasion and the person I am sending it to. I know it's going to sound kind of corny...but, I know I have chosen the "perfect" card when I begin to get choked up.
See, told you it was weird.
Whether it's a birthday card for my dad, or a Mother's Day card, or even a card to remind my husband how much I love him, I won't purchase a card until I find the one that causes me to get emotional. Sometimes I begin to physically tear up and sniffle, but I can usually find a way to shut myself off before I am standing in the aisle crying like a baby.
Except for the other day when I was at the Hallmark store picking out a sympathy card for an old friend of mine who has just lost her husband to cancer. The idea of knowing she is a widow at the age of forty-six with two kids to finish raising really pulled at my heart.
I couldn't help but think, "What if it was me going through this?"
So there I am reading through the cards, tears falling down my cheeks, snot running out of my nose thinking about how difficult this must be for her and wondering how would I deal with the same situation. I mean, nobody likes to think about death, especially when you are in the middle of raising a family and you know how much your kids and spouse need you, but it happens...all the time.
And part of me knows I am crying because I am so grateful that it isn't me...
I wipe my eyes on the back of my sweater sleeve, sniff deeply, proceed to the counter to buy the card. all the while silently reminding myself to continue to pray for my friend and her children to walk this difficult path with faith, calm, courage, patience and grace.
Because, God forbid, that would ever be me, I know it's what I would do. What other option would there be?
Tomorrow I will mail the card, such a small gesture in this time of great challenge. But I will also say my prayers, everyday.
Heard this song on the radio this morning, felt like just the right finish to this post...