Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Sam Trail


Seven months after the death of Sam's wife, we're still finding our way in this new normal of ours. A lot has changed in these few months. Sam's learned to prepare his meals, change his sheets, do his laundry. He knew how to do those things before, but Jamie always did them. Now, he does them himself, and we're both proud of his efforts.

He doesn't drive on the road anymore, so we spend a lot more time together. One of the things we've enjoyed doing lately is feeding the fish in the afternoons. We buy a cartload of "agricultural bread" (old bread) at the bread store, and store it in an old olive barrel. Every afternoon, we grab a few loaves, crumble up the slices, and throw it to the fish. 

Sam takes great delight in seeing the fish churn the water to get bread, and I take great delight in watching him.

It's a long walk for Sam, who's not as spry as he used to be, and it's easier if we stop a few times on the way back. I devised the Sam Trail to help. As you can see in the picture, I've positioned a trail of lawn chairs along the way from my backyard to the lake. Sam stops when he gets out of breath and rests until he can go again.

Yesterday, I scrubbed down the chairs to get the winter's grime off, then repositioned them.

"Why don't you put two chairs at each spot? Then you can have a seat, too."

Sam's words cut me to the core. In that moment, I realized that, while Sam sat to rest, I'd stood over him, waiting to "get going" again. What Sam wanted was for me to slow down and savor the moment, to rest along side him.

I put two chairs at each spot.

Later, we fed the fish and made our way back. When we stopped for Sam to catch his breath, we both sat. The view of the lake was beautiful. Peaceful. Restorative.

Sam often says, "We're not guaranteed another day." He's right. We're not, so it's important to savor every day, treasure every sweet stop along the way. Sometimes, we simply need to stop and watch the lake together.

I've been "wide open" for so long that slowing down for someone else is a big change for me, but it's been a good one. Perhaps you, too, go at a fast pace. Try being intentional about slowing down, savoring the moment, treasuring the days. 

Rest is part of God's plan for us, and Sam is teaching me it's great value. Those few minutes spent in rest on the Sam Trail are as restorative to me as they are to him.

Sam and I are making memories. One day, they'll be all I have of Sam, and they will be even more precious than they are today. 

We can't treasure memories later if we don't make them now, so slow down. Stop. Enjoy. 

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:28,29 NASB
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In case you missed it, here's the link for yesterday's post: Saving America 
#rest #slowdown #disciple #linesfromleanna