Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Love That Surrounds Us

This weekend, we had a nice balance between work and relaxation, spending time 
with family and friends.  Shawn's very best friend, also named Shawn, and his son, 
Aaron, drove to our house all the way from Florida to spend time with him.  My 
husband's face lit up at the chance to spend a long weekend with one of his oldest and 
dearest brothers.  They took care of Shawn in a way that only a best friend could: 
playing guitar while he mastered his one handed drummer technique, watching all of 
their favorite concert DVDs, and enjoying a break from this estrogen filled home.  I was 
so grateful to have these two kind hearted souls in our presence, cooking my very 
best recipes and enjoying the sounds of our music room as it became alive again.  Having 
the encouragement of these two men brought Shawn a new energy and sense 
of determination.  Their visit brought him the best kind of medicine there is: 
unconditional love and support.

In between all of the male bonding taking place, we spent Saturday night and had 
Sunday dinner with the family.  It was one of those weekends that makes me love 
summer: sitting outside with an ice cold beer and good conversation, watching the 
cousins run free through the yard without a care in the world.  My aunts all clucked 
over Shawn like the mother hens that they are, showering him with love and 
Southern mama attention.  We got home on Sunday afternoon and took a nice long nap,
 the girls completely worn out from all the playing and entertainment.  These days, taking 
a nap is one of the greatest luxuries in the world to me.  To lie down in the middle of 
the afternoon with no other agenda than to rest: it feels like the most precious gift I
 could give my body.
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It feels good to be out and about again, slowly recovering and getting back into our 
groove.  Shawn's accident has changed our lives in so many ways but one thing will 
always remain a constant: surrounding ourselves with good friends and family is where 
our hearts feel most complete.  One of my kind readers wrote me the most 
incredible comment last week: "At first I thought, she is one lucky lady to have such 
loving family members. But then I also realized - they are also lucky to have you - you 
are the love they surround".  You are the love they surround: I have repeated these 
words out loud every day since, it has become my new mantra.  When I am with 
my patients, when I am taking care of my girls, when I am feeling busy and 
overwhelmed and unsure of how it will all come together, I remember that the love I
 put out into the world will be returned to me tenfold.  The love that surrounds me will 
make me stronger and carry me through the days when I am not quite strong enough
 to stand alone.  Through all of the chaos and confusion, love will always lead me
home, bringing me closer to who I truly am.
What an incredibly encouraging thought.

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semichrmd said...

That is the most beautiful quote. I LOVE IT! So happy to hear that Shawn is doing well! It's funny, my husband always tells me I am most myself when I am surrounded by family and friends, the people that love me the most. And naps? In the middle of the day??!! I am jealous :)

Jessica said...

Liv, why must you always make me cry?? :)
Your writing never fails to be heartfelt and beautiful.

Vanessa said...

I love seeing pics of your "village" -- it always makes me yearn to live closer to family. And that quote. That is some powerful stuff right there.

Olivia said...

Thank you!!  You are too kind!

Olivia said...

So powerful.  It definitely gave me a new perspective!

Olivia said...

My husband tells me the same thing!  Family=home!

BallisticGypsy said...

So much love! Its refreshing :)

Caitlin A. said...

Your pictures are always so happy :)