Except last Saturday. That was a different sort of day. It started normally, with laundry and study and coffee. Spike went for a haircut.
But then ... oh THEN ...
We headed off to the big city down the road, where ... after years of waiting ... and months of seeing pictures ... we finally met ... in person ... Deepika!!!
Just over 6 weeks ago, Deepika lived in an orphanage in India. Maybe 6 months ago, she didn't know that Canadians were working hard to come and make her a part of their family. And over 6 years ago - well, she was a new little life without any family at all.
But she has family now! Her dad - a pragmatic, management type - will stick a pink bouncing bow on his head without a second thought, just to see her smile. Her mom - a strong-minded, gifted pastor - laughs as she helps her daughter get out of the car and run for the toilet. Both mom and dad are tired. And content. And happy. And Deepika - well, she's quickly learning what it means to be in a family at all. She giggles, plays, experiments with English, and keeps them both as near to her as possible - a solid sign of bonding.
What a pleasure to meet her. So grateful that we get to be part of watching her grow up.
I'm just going to pause and think about that for a moment.
And then ... oh THEN ... we went north-ish. Not too far, just a half hour or so. You will, of course, remember The Crusty Professor, turned friend? He had another book published, and it turned out to be dual-award winning, so he invited a few people to celebrate with him, and Spike and I got to be part of the celebration!
We all met first at the house, introductions all around, and then we all made the trip together to a little pub another 20 minutes north-ish. A couple hours of eating, drinking, laughing, telling stories and listening to each other. We solved the problems of the world, all of us together. The band came in and started with a Norah Jones cover, and then the volume went up, and we headed out, back to the house.
A warm, friendly, relaxing evening with people I didn't know, but would be happy to see again.
And you know what was amazing? For me? It's a long story ... but my friend and I have had quite a few email conversations about grief and love and the agony of it all. His world was devastated when cancer took the love of his life. And somewhere in those conversations, I offered the phrase "grace in the wilderness" - out of Scripture - as a prayer for God's comfort, even when a person still feels lost. That phrase resonated, and he passed it on, others passed it further, and it even came back to me at a moment when I really needed it. It led to a service at our church, that surely will take place again.
Anyway - one of the people who are closest to him, brought a photo book of memories that she had designed as a gift for him. "There's a tribute to you, Patti," she said on Saturday night, with a smile. I opened it, and there it was, inside the cover, underneath a beautiful photo - "grace in the wilderness".
Which was about as meaningful as something can get.
And for both of those moments, I am profoundly grateful.