Monday, November 29, 2010

Life Guard

To guard a life. To bravely stand watch. To hold a post commissioned by an employer, but more ones own choices and convictions.

To stand between the weak, and inevitable or predicted harm is a mission some care not to participate in. Their mission is avoidance of responsibility...of getting "too involved". The greatest rewards in life come from the most imminent risk. Jumping head first into a situation, like that of the skilled Life Guard requires intent...fiery on the inside of the soul...blazing with the assuredness that sitting on the edge of the danger is surely not an option.

When a Life Guard trains, they are required to memorize the following chart explaining why people drown. Interestingly enough...all of these points, are transferrable to everyday life. In taking on the guardianship for the weak and troubled...we are able to pull victims from a potentially fatal situation.

1. Lack of Education

2. Lack of Protection

3. Inability to Cope

4. Lack of Safety Advice

5. Lack of Supervision

Standing in, or with someone who is at a moment of vulnerability and brokeness, is not an act that requires the answers. It doesn't command merely asks, in the gentlest voice, for solidarity and loyalty. It's like the guard on the tower. We are safer as swimmers because we are protected by the faithful eyes and razor sharp skills of the forward thinking guard. We know they are there if trouble should pull us under...but otherwise...they observe life on the beach, and stand watch...often in silence.

So, your words may be few to someone who is being pulled under by the riptide of circumstance...your actions may be swift and your words zero, in a moment of crisis. But know this... we are the guardians of each other. God has equipped us to be His grasping hands, and his swift to act feet... or His shoulder when there is nothing left to do but collapse under weeping and grief. Know there is immeasurable, eternal value to the sacrifice of those actions.

After all, my're saving a life.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I have a birthday coming next week. Usually around a birthday, I contemplate the last 365 days, and agonize over things that should have been different, risks that should have been taken...words that should have been said, or maybe not at all.

In the past, birthdays have reflected regret back to me... I have always thought I should be further ahead in my life by having the status quo; an adoring husband, a beautiful house, 2 healthy kids a loving ginger coloured dog and a minivan. But this year...I have realised something pretty epic:

I'm not where I thought I would be, BUT, I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be.

The changes that happened in my 34th year are substantial. I gained a new niece a month after my birthday...and she is pure joy wrapped up into a chubby, gurgling bright eyed little girl. She has the most beautiful spirit. I was one of the first people to meet her as she was welcomed to the light of earth on December 28th, 2009. I held her for about an hour soon after her birth, until my sister said to me..."Uh...can I hold my baby?" I have been smitten with that darling wee one ever since. Even at that moment, I had a private sadness...wanting, hoping for the day when it's my turn to be the new mom with the beautiful infant.

February spun my world into a tsunami size storm. The debris of losing Michael left everything irreparable. Nothing was or is the existence turned into numbness and knee buckling grief. There is very little I remember between February and May, to be honest. I was swirling in a drain, just trying to find air...trying to not let the surge vacuum me under the tide of grief. Amazingly, a life raft overflowing with new friends drifted past me, and I found myself in the middle of something not short of miraculous. We are the M.E.L.B.'s...we are 14 women who knew Michael...we are honouring our friend everyday...we loved him, and now we love each other.

If I have learned anything in my 34th year, it is this:

Change is inevitable...resilience is a choice.

I took on a new role at work in May. I moved at the end of July. I got a new vehicle in parents are moving out of my childhood home the day after my birthday. It's a lot...when added and divided by the weight of each some, it would be overwhelming at the best of times. This year has truly shown me what I am made of. There have been moments of pure loathing and hatred towards the events of my life...and there have been moments where I have been washed with the cleansing and healing balm of gratitude and understanding....

If I die young, I had just enough time.

I won't be sorry.

I've loved...I've learned..and I have lost. My birthday this year will find me quietly contemplating my blessings..and the things I hope cross my path in my 35th year.

Great adventure...confounding love...much laughter, few tears.

MB...I'll do 35 up for both of us...don't worry, I'll make you proud. xo