"And Jesus, I just thank-you so much for how I see Janie trying to be like you and trying to serve others." I nod as I pray. "Please just help us all to serve you like that including me." I bow my head over folded hands.
Popcorn prayer. Our children pop in and pray one after another, no special order. We just pray as it comes. I used to peek to make sure. Now I just wait.
"And Jesus," Jane prays, "help everyone to be more like me," she says, "and help me to be more like you. Amen."
From across the room, "Jack, your turn," Lulie belts, and he pops in, prays his turn, thanks Jesus for us all.
Prayer circles, and I picture my dad. My brothers and me, all fidgets and closed eyes, we prayed each night before bed. Dad sat still, eyes closed. And still, I hear his whisper, "Lord, help me be more like you." His invisible faith in invisible God pulsed like a heartbeat. It still does.
Now, encircled by his grandchildren we pray out that pulse, every night a new circle. As we linger, I hear it in Jane's words: Jesus, help everyone to be more like me, and help me to be more like you. Yes, that's it. Follow me; Follow me as I follow Christ. The burden of love.
797. Ragged cough almost gone.
798. A bouquet of snap barrettes and butterflies and pink headbands.
799. Coffee with new sis-in-law and how she made the dinner eggs for me.
800. How my brother rushed follow when Rose Emily had to leave early.
801. How we linger long enough to piece a whole puzzle.
802. Family banter over baked ham and sweet potatoes and savory melon salad.
803. How husband helped the boy in the wheel chair at church.
804. The gradual steps each day to not speak annoyed to the children.
805. A birthday party for 13 year old niece, the wild flower cake her little brother decorated especially for her, and the grape hyacinth he plucked from the garden and poked in the side of the cake.
806. That Craig's parents showed up late, not dead. Being that we've never seen them ever even once be late, death was the only thing we could think of. Thank the Lord for a mix-up on times!
807. That 13 year old niece makes junior high look way easier than I remember it.
808. How the cousins play and play and play until finally dinner.
809. Silver cookie scoop Janie finds and buys at an estate sale for two quarters and four pennies.
810. How the kids and I gather to watch the washer fill up with suds.
811. How when we have company Jane sets the table and fills the glasses with water while I chop salad.
812. How Jack hugs my waist, nuzzles me with his face while we watch the blender whirl up almond milk.
813. Soup at mom's with sisters-in-law.
814. Baby oranges, yellow bananas.
815. How Lulie tells me she's named one of her babies Rockie, "the one with the giant eyes," she says.
816. And how she lifts up a dolly and says, "See, this one's big," as she bounces the babe, "his legs almost touch the ground," she says.
817. How cousin Rockie gets a fresh body cast tomorrow for the second six weeks.
818. A giant jar of red tomato sauce.
819. How Rosie flaps her arms anytime Craig comes near.
820. That for all my imperfection I am not condemned to Hell but healed and made whole.
821. That Jesus suffered the cross for me.