Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

She’s a nurse, an athlete, a dedicated mom, a loving wife, a giver.

I met her for the first time when Buck and I delivered  pot roast and vegetables to her door when she was on strict bed rest trying to safely deliver baby Lilly. Usually she is the one making meals and taking them to families with new babies or others in need of temporary respite care.

Lilly was born healthy and beautiful. She was christened in our marvelous old parish earlier this year.

Lilly’s dad is a Navy doc. He is on his second tour in Kuwait, helping to heal those he can. The week he left, Lilly’s mom took a tumble down a flight of stairs, hitting her head so hard it brought on seizures.

She recovered, and perservered, as is her way.

Her husband’s tour of duty was extended once again for several more months. I saw her at communion, her worry showing like the fraying edge of a worn silk scarf.

Baby Lilly is in the hospital for the second time in a week. We all pray she will be home tomorrow. Lilly’s mom, my friend, will not leave her side. The other children are being cared for by a relative and a neighbor. Folks in the parish stand ready to make meals, grocery shop, wrap Christmas presents, or run other errands.

Soon, I know, this remarkable woman will be back to making meals and “doing for” others in temporary need. It is her nature.

This morning I was making a list before going to the grocery store. I was thinking about this young family, and adding things like gingerbread cookies, chickens to roast, potatoes to mash, ingredients for a home-cooked meal, a tiny island of comfort in a sea of anxiety and exhaustion.

Buck looked at me, perplexed, pondering how a grocery list could make me cry.

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