I haven’t known what to write about lately. It is unusual for me to get writer’s block, so I began to assume that maybe it was an okay time for a break. Life has been very ‘full’: some things very good, others downright hard. I have been quietly processing all of it, particularly what is going on with my Mom, Dion’s health and the lives of many people at The Dale. I know there is a weariness evident in my eyes.

I recently walked into the Monday Drop-In late, having gone to a doctor’s appointment with Dion first thing that morning. We often find appointments with the MS specialist hard because of the bombardment of well-intentioned information, very little of which is related to the possibility of life without the disease. When I walked through the door at The Dale I was feeling raw. One of our community members was feeling off too. While it was just the two of us in the foyer, he launched into a bit of a tirade about everything wrong with Parkdale. Knowing I had little capacity to manage it, I said, “friend, I’ve had a really hard morning. I don’t know what to say”. He suddenly stopped, said, “ya, I heard. I get that” and proceeded to sit with me in silence.

It can be a difficult discipline to simply be with the one who is in pain. When people are struggling it is easy to fill up the air with platitudes. There are of course times when people want and ask for advice, or need to process out loud. I desire those things. What I’m learning is that I also need to be still, often with people who know and love me. In the stillness I am reminded that my circumstances do not outweigh my inherent worth in God. This truth usually enables me to take a deep breath and carry on.

On Monday I was surrounded by people who tenderly cared for me. The typical flurry of activity continued all day, but somehow the community created a pocket of space for me to be in. Most people didn’t say much at all, as though they knew it was enough to touch my shoulder and nod, or give me a hug. When I wanted to talk there were people to listen. I want to liken my experience to being moved to the eye of the storm, that calm region at the center of a storm or hurricane. The storm didn’t stop, but in the midst of it I was able to be still.