Monday, July 30, 2012

I Ate a Banana

I do not like bananas.  Never have.  Oh, I could enjoy banana bread slathered with cream cheese, or a banana cake drowning in a rich, creamy frosting,  But a banana in its pure form? Forget it.
Leaving Davenport, Iowa, I chose to have a banana for breakfast.  The banana was my attempt at healthier eating-a new beginning as I went back to my daily life. The end of this vacation meant a return to, as Mary Beth Chapman calls, "a new normal."  In January, my life had  changed drastically. The past six months have been months of healing, both physically and emotionally. The physical pains have gotten much better. The emotional pain of missing Greg is a part of me. It is not a bad pain, for it comes with memories filled with so much love that there is comfort in it.
Tasting the banana, I was surprised to find there were nuances in the flavor that I actually enjoyed--a slight tang that had a certain sweetness to it and although I would grab a chocolate bar over a banana any day, I could eat and enjoy a banana.
So where am I going with this banana story on our vacation blog?  As I spooned banana bites into my mouth, I saw this experience as an analogy for this trip, as well as for life.
From the beginning, I saw this "Ultimate Road Trip" as a gift from a loving Grandfather to his grandson, and to his daughter and their experiences should be the primary focus. I was flattered and very touched that they chose to include me, but I still thought of the vacation as their trip.  Although I did voice my opinions on occasion (and anyone who knows me also knows that I can't keep my mouth shut for long!), I wanted their choices to dictate our travels. Like the banana, I would not have chosen some of the things they picked. And also, like the banana, I found my self discovering new and different things and enjoying those things.
As for my life, I would NEVER have chosen the loss of my husband.  But since that time, I have tasted the love of my family and of Greg's family that has touched my soul.  I have tasted the depths of friendships that goes so far beyond lunch dates and casual get-togethers. I have tasted the compassion and grace of my church families in Chamberlain and at Greenmont that have blown away all expectations. Opening and pulling back the peel, I could truly "taste and see that the Lord is good!"
Now as I go back to my "new normal," I pray that with God's help I can pull back the peel in my life and be open to the new adventures that are before me in this wonderful world!
Thank you all for going on this journey with me!

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