Today I carry the weight of a dear friend who discovered she can never have children. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was pregnant with my third. I carry my cell phone in case she calls. I carry my tattered SUV car keys and ginger lozenges to help ease my morning sickness. I carry a legal notepad because I need to write this stuff down. My notebook carries all my worries, my fears, my kid’s birthday party ideas, my mother-in-law’s Guinness stew recipe, and future baby names. My notebook is like an assorted box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll find. But, I carry it because I need to, it is a place of refuge.
I carry shea-butter hand cream, Burt’s Bees lip balm, and a used gift card from Barnes and Noble. I can’t part with the card just yet because you never know if it truly has zero credit or not. I carry mints from a restaurant my kids love to go to on Friday nights. I carry a general mistrust of all restaurants and their mantra about serving 100% pure beef. I’ve read dozens of government USDA recalls on meat products to believe otherwise.
I carry my checkbook in case the mortgage bill comes in. I carry the weight of a thousand things I must do in this house like clean out my husband’s sock drawer, organize my photos by date, sort through the pile of Legos, and empty out the hamper for the things it will carry tomorrow.
And then, I carry the shame that these superficial concerns occupy my mind while other people battle for their lives. A family friend was recently diagnosed with fourth stage breast cancer. She has a seven year old daughter. Another friend just got served divorce papers from her husband. She was already on the verge of becoming an alcoholic. A fourteen year old girl was abducted and forced into human trafficking by a man twenty years her senior, a story that ran in my local paper. I carry a vision of her face with me still and can’t help but wonder how humiliated she felt selling her body for sex.
Her bag must have been heavier than mine.
In life, we carry things that weigh us down. For some, it can translate into more tears than smiles. As for me, I am humbled by all the blessings in my life, for all the love and good health bestowed upon my family. How about you? What are you thankful for?