When this week started I felt exhausted, emotionally wrung out, gutted by pain and grief in my life and the lives of so many I love and those I don’t even know.
It was one of those moments when I wanted all the hurt in the world to please just stop, for a day, a few hours even, just to let us all catch our breath before we have to go back to dealing with tsunamis and job loss and death of people we love and illnesses that don’t heal and stillborn babies and broken relationships and abuse and war.
I just wanted a break for my friend who suffers the agonies of scoliosis every day, for my Mum and aunts shuttling back and forth between my grandfather dying in one hospital and my uncle desperately ill in another, for my friend grieving the loss of her father and her twin babies, for the families waiting for soldiers who will never come home.
I wanted to fix it, ease all the burdens, take away all the pain. But there’s too much and I’m not big enough.
So I cried. And slept. And woke Monday morning. And went to work. And turned on my computer. And there I read these words:
Do one small thing.
One. Small. Thing.
And I smiled and took a deep breath and felt the peace that comes when you remember you don’t have to carry it all.
I’m not built to shoulder the burdens of the world, but I can do one small thing.
Write a letter.
Give a hug.
Send a text.
Say I love you.
Make a meal.
Cry with her.
Just sit quietly and hold their hand.
And as I thought of all the small things I could do, I remembered the many small things others have done for me: a book in the mail, a bowl of strawberries, texted pictures of their kissable babies, those lovely little things that comfort and cheer and remind you that you matter.
I smiled again as I remembered another little thing: a balloon.
My friend Marie gave it to me.
A beautiful shiny turquoise balloon to remind me I was loved when I was deathly sick from Ecoli.
She gave it to me in February and it is STILL FLOATING.
I call it my Wonder Balloon.
I wake up every morning, open my bedroom door and there it is, bobbing along to the gusts of air from my heater. And it makes me smile.
It’s such a plucky balloon. The best balloon I ever had.
It’s withered and rumpled and half deflated, but it still keeps floating, still keeps dancing on the breeze.
It was just one small thing, but every day it gives me courage.
What is one small thing someone did for you when you were going through a rough time?
I hope you have a wonderful weekend, dear ones. Much love to you. xo