I was going to go to bed after a cigarette on our back porch. That was my plan.
But sitting there, smoking, knowing baby Ellie was home with Tim and Mimi in Brooklyn, I was overwhelmed, suddenly and unexpectedly by how blessed my life is. And I needed to tell you.
Blessed is the operative word. I've done nothing I can think of to deserve the life I have been given. I didn't 'earn' it by good deeds and faithfulness--though I have some of those deeds to my credit and have been 'faithful' to some extent. But not nearly enough deeds and faith to merit my blessedness.
Blessings come from God, I suppose, from somewhere 'out there' and 'in here', from something, dare we hope 'Someone' parsing the blessings out?
I have a wife of coming up on 46 years, who I love as much as the moment I met her (and it was--blessedly--'love at first sight'). She endures me more than I could hope for or deserve.
I have--we have--two children who have been paragons of wonder for most all their lives (I did worry about Josh in his first year of college, I must admit!)
And each of them have found a life-mate worthy and beyond worthy of their worthiness.
And they have now given us 4 grand-daughters beyond compare.
Sitting there, smoking a Marlboro Red Label (used to be called "Marlboro Light" though no cigarette is 'light', really) I was broadsided by Blessings.
Bern (my high school sweetheart--how corny is that?) my wife of almost 46 years, my 'love' of 51 years; Josh and Mimi, who we could have, should have? screwed up in some way; Cathy and Tim, their mates, who are wondrous in so many ways; Morgan and Emma and precious Tegan and now baby Ellie....Oh, my God, how do I deserve this???
I don't, of course, I am merely 'blessed'.
It makes me look back: to Virgil and Cleo, who birthed me at Tim and Mimi's ages (40 and 38) and Filbert and Annie, who birthed Virgil, and Manona and Eli, who birthed Cleo (some great names in my family, huh?).
It pours over me--how blessed I am and how little I deserve it.
But I'll take it. Believe you me.
I'll take it and be full of gratitude beyond imagining. Thankfulness worthy of blessings. Wonder and astonishment at what life has 'gifted me'.
(Ellie's real name is Eleanor Reed McCarthy. The "Reed" is for Lou Reed. Tim is a remarkable musician and Lou is his idol. Just like our son is "Joshua Dylan" and the 'Dylan' isn't for Dylan Thomas--though that would be fine--but for 'Bob Dylan'. Not a bad way to choose names, I'd contend, being blessed.)
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