I remember these days when I was in school and I'd have to take the long walk to the bus stop, my french horn banging against my shins the entire way. These were the mornings I would reach the turn on Murphy Road, where the sight of my small hometown came to view, and I would see the bus pulling into the stop. I would begin to run wildly, the french horn now swinging in the air along with my arms. My short gait never got me there, but I would always try.
Yesterday was inspiring, and hard, and a bit sad. Sometimes my work means creating beautiful pieces for happy brides, new mothers, passionate small businesses. I catch their fire it and makes the work all the more fun and exciting.
But yesterday, two things came across my desk that made my heart ache. I needed some quiet moments of tears, and laid awake in bed last night counting my blessings.
1. As I mentioned in a previous blog, my hometown in Schoharie County, NY was recently devastated by flooding during Hurricane Irene. It's been heartbreaking to see photos come through of places I love completely destroyed. Homes that I spent my youth in soaked in muck and mud, covered in 8 feet of water. You hear of these things, but when it hits home, it rattles everything. I wanted to show my support for Schoharie County and all my friends and family who are taking on the task of clean up, rebuilding and salvaging what remains of the county. So, I created this graphic. The crazy thing is, it kinda went viral. I love seeing people rally together behind a common voice. It's moving. And yes, I cried. (And it just so happens, people liked it enough to wear it....so i opened a Cafepress shop. If you want to show your support and help provide relief $ toward the county, you can shop there.)
2. I have two dear friends living in Galveston TX. I can't really tell their story without choking up, and ever since I received the first quiet e-mail from Jo Anna that they were expecting, my heart has been wrapped up with them. Here is a quote straight from their blog (www.thefathersdelight.com):
"We are two ordinary parents who are having our first child in October. He name is Abigail Grace, and she is a gift from God. On May 20, 2011, Abigail was given the diagnosis of Alobar Holoprosencephaly. You can read more about this day in our post Friday, May 20, 2011. Our hearts were broken to learn that she may not live very long on this earth. That day we left the doctor choosing to live each day with purpose, cherishing every moment we have with her. Each day we lift her up to our God knowing that He has a plan, and in it, He loves our Abigail unconditionally. This blog is about our life’s journey through this heartache and joy. Although a blog about our Abigail, it is more about the love of our God and His presence in our lives."
When Lyle (Abigail's dad) e-mailed me and asked me if I'd be willing to create a logo for The Abby Grace Project, I couldn't say no. My heart was already tied with them in tears and prayer, so it would only make sense that I could give this way. Read more of their story here.
So maybe this is why I'm so slow to get started today. I know today will be no different. I feel a bit like the rest of the world is chugging away from their bus stops, and instead of chasing wildly after them, I have set my things down in protest.
I'm not going to run wildly with you today. I'm going to spare my shins and not swing my panic in the air.
I'm going to count my blessings, and remember those who are hurting and brokenhearted today.
I know the city is alive out there. People are going to work, or at work. They're sitting at red lights, speeding through yellow lights, and somewhere coffee is sloshing and office phones have started ringing. Life goes on and stories are lived, elsewhere hopes come true and dreams alight.
But my little apartment affords me the view of victorian house rooftops, an old church steeple, and one apartment building. Quiet side streets close me in, and from here it seems no one has stirred. I watch a bird dip down onto a roof, gather something in his beak and take off again. Today it is Madeleine and me, my thoughts of the Valley and my prayers for the Workmans.