ordinary blessings. . . aren’t

In Joan Didion’s memoir, Blue Nights, about her daughter Quintana’s life and death, she wrote of toasting Quintana and her new husband, Gerry, on their wedding day, six months before the illness that would ultimately claim Quintana’s life began, saying:

We wished them happiness, we wished them health, we wished them love and luck and beautiful children. On that wedding day, July 26, 2003, we could see no reason to think that such ordinary blessings would not come their way.  Do notice: We still counted happiness and health and love and luck and beautiful children as “ordinary blessings (p. 29-30).”

That thought has stayed with me since I finished Blue Nights a few months ago.

2020 has been a complicated and strange and difficult year for pretty much everyone and recently in my little corner of the world so many things have just been broken. . .

  • A sweet friend from nursing school’s young daughter has been critically ill and required a ventilator.
  • Another friend I’ve known my entire life passed away suddenly, related to COVID.
  • A nurse friend who has worked with COVID patients since the beginning has now contracted the virus and is in heart failure.
  • The southern part of my state was hit by a hurricane this morning and it seems that there is a line of tropical storms forming and headed our way.
  • A dear friend has been evacuated from her home in the Oregon wildfires and it is so frightening for her.
  • My mother’s brother has been diagnosed with melanoma that is also in his lungs.

And it feels like everywhere I turn, there is more suffering and not much I can do to help.

Still, in the face of everything, I also see. . .

  • My amazing husband, working constantly to look after us, spending 40 minutes on the road during his lunch break only to have five minutes to check and be sure I’m okay, bringing flowers home just because, just being my favorite person to be with. . .
  • My Sara Bug working on her schoolwork across the hall, cooking our meals and helping me with anything I need, stopping in to chat and laugh, looking after my Henry too. . .
  • My sweet little Henry, snoodled up next to me. . .
  • Mickodemus, snoring at the end of the bed, waiting to cuddle my feet when I sleep. . .
  • Our granddog, Goblin, who is the cutest, funniest little puppy ever. . .
  • Our cozy Hippie Hut my husband has worked SO hard to make just right for us. . .
  • My precious parents, who stay in touch every day. . .
  • My bestie of many many years, who is always there for me and I can’t wait to see soon. . .
  • Our amazing church fam, who even drop off goodie bags since we can’t meet in person right now so we know we aren’t forgotten. . .
  • Friends who send messages and check in often. . .

When I stop to consider all of this, I know there is NOTHING ordinary about my blessings.

Even on my sickest days, I have been given the most amazing life with my wonderful people and I am so deeply grateful. ❤

I want to encourage everyone in these scary times, when it’s so easy to get caught up in the bad news and the fear, to take a minute to count their not-so-ordinary blessings too.

It’s so important to remember the good good things. ❤

Be well, everybody. Take care of yourselves and each other.

Love God and love people.

Grace and Blessings.


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