Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Less Is More

January is a long, cold month, huh? And it has begun particularly harsh given the recent events. When I say that please don't think that I am not filled with gratitude for the outcomes to my sister's unexpected heart attack and having two blocked arteries requiring clearing and stents. Her recovery is miraculous and her life is so precious. Her voice, like I wrote the other day, was like music from heaven when we spoke. And her reaching to the frightened and angry woman and sharing of similar loss and understanding is yet another phenomenon to behold, embrace, and sing praise.

Please allow me to delve deeper now - to share about the uncertainties, the harshness at times, the difficult realities and the challenge to move forward gracefully, faithfully, with peace and hope and promise. That outlook is not a given, it is strived for, designed, often fought for and sometimes it feel unattainable. My sister said she has nothing left with which to cope as she recovers so to get back to "her life" which is upside down at best. She has been tired for years since her son died - she has held her family together during their deepest grief and her husband too who leaned on her every day. And then he became ill and she cared for him right up until he took his last breath - made sure he saw his last sunrise - his favorite music sending him off and beyond - and she carried on. Until last Saturday when her heart said, "Enough".

As I watch, and embrace, and feel, and experience her in all of this I am profoundly effected. We carry each others lives in our own - when I was being diagnosed, she was me, I was her - there is no dividing line at times, not any we can see or feel anyway. I feel a bit weakened this go-round as my own health can not sustain her or hold her up as I have in times of need before my diagnosis. I have been wrestling with this since Saturday. And then I realized that she is weakened too, should I, God forbid, ever need her again for some traumatic event in my life. And then I thought, what does weakened really mean? Less love? No way. Less hope? No way. Less understanding? No way. Less kindness? No way. I guess my point is, less is more, or less is enough. We will adjust and be appreciative of whatever we each can and cannot do for one another knowing that the best we give is the most we have. Yes, the best we give is the most we have. I am not a good 'Bible/scripture' quoter but there is a story about a person who gave his or her last few coins to Jesus and because this person gave all of what they had it was worth more than the richest who gave much more in monetary value but far less in sacrificial giving. Jesus was way more impressed with the sacrifice.

Even as of late whenever I do things for my Mom or Sis they are so appreciative because they know it is not without effort and sacrifice. I started this post with the word 'harsh' to describe how this month, the first month of 2010 began - and perhaps that is still true - my sister's reality is quite harsh. I also believe this first month of 2010 is an 'awakening' that reminds us that less is more - only if we allow it to be so. As with most else, it is up to us.

The song below is sung by one of Clayton's favorite artists - Clayton is my sister's son who died.

I love you all


The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

It took both courage and insight to write this, I know. And you are right in that both you and your sister—as well as your mother—are simply not the same people you were way back when. None of us are. Time and health has its way with everyone. But the things that we can give one another to help—things that one one else can give, and as the most helpful of all—are seldom measured by pure physical strength. You'll all be there for each other in the ways that count whenever needed. You know that.

This "harsh" start to the new year might just be the biggest blessing in disguise you never imagined.

Take care. Stay warm. Walk in beauty and love, with a humble, helping heart.

Eileen said...

I agree, Gail, sometimes less is more, or at least it's enough.

And I can imagine that at times your sister must feel hollow inside, especially now so, determination leaves us sometimes and surrender takes it's place, for a little while at least.

I remember reading once that you know you are loved when someone suffers along with you, when someone cares for you in spite of your failures, when someone lifts you up when you are at your lowest, someone who is at their best when you are at your worst. I have no doubt that has been your relationship with your sister, and I have no doubt that will continue to be your relationship.

I will keep you both in my prayers.
Love to you,

Bernie said...

Gail, I love this wise and meaningful post. When one gives their best then that is more than enough and when one recognizes it then it is even more precious. You, your mom, and your sister are very blessed to have each other. All of your life experiences, good and bad have made you stronger, caring and loving women.....:-) Hugs

Love Faith Hill....

cinner said...

Gail this is a beautiful post. I don't think I have heard the song before. more is less or less is more, less is enough, and in some strange way everything will be the same, your love for one another. It was wonderful to talk to you the other day. Big hug my friend.

Gail said...

Hi Bernie-

I love how 'in tune' you are with matters of the heart and sol and of love and purpose. I so appreciate your kind and loving words of true understanding and wisdom.

Love to you my friend

Gail said...

HI Eileen -
"Hollow" is a very good word to describe her state of being - and in time she will fill up with many good things. There is a natural order to things, and it is her time now. And yes, it is wonderful to be loved unconditionally - wonderful indeed, just like you. "Thank you" for your wonderful and loving support.

Love to you

Gail said...


Nice to see you this evening. :-) I SO apreciate your honest and 'matter-of-fact' wisdom - we are not the same people in physical ability but we make up for it in our increased love and care for one another!! :-)
And I hope you are right about the blessings in disguise.
My heart remains humble, my world is in the light and I do all things with love as best I can.

Thank you Grizz for all that you are and share with me and others.

Love to you

Gail said...


It was so wonderful to hear your voice, "hey" :-) And yes less is more and or less is enough.

Take some time to listen to some of Faith Hill's music - she is amazing. I love you girl.

Teacher's Pet said...

Gail...the story you used from the Bible is one of such all...and no greater gift can one give...than giving all..and giving it with love. My prayers are with your sister. I hope that she will feel stronger. I am glad that you have each other to lean on.
With many warm smiles, I tell you that you can lean on my prayers for you both....I promise.
Hugs from Jackie

Wanda said...

Your words uplift us all Gail, so they alone will do much for your sister in lifting her spirits. You're wise to not dwell on the ngative aspects of the situation as it is now...there are always answers to our needs...sometimes we just have to be creative in our thoughts, know our limitations, be open and receptive to new ways of doing things...all of which I'm sure you know!
Take care,

PENolan said...

Keep the Faith

Choices said...

Hi Gail,
This was very meaningful post. I am a fan of Faith Hill and know most of her music, but I have never heard this one before. So, uplifting and inspiring.
Thank you for sharing that.
Take care and stay warm!

Gail said...


"thank you' for your loving support and for sharing your being a fan of "Faith Hill". I am always so in awe of how connected we all are. :-)

Love to you

Gail said...


Yes, keeping the faith. :-)

Love you

Gail said...


"Thank you" for your gentle love and kindness - always so kind and true. I promise I wont dwell on the negative - it is so much better to celebrate the positive, right??!! :-)

Love to you

Gail said...


And lean, I am. Thank you for your support of prayers and understanding and kindness. t means so much.

Love to you

cordieb said...

Yes, Gail, we are all a caterpillar changes to a butterfly, we are metamorphosing for that day! There will come a day, and that is the Good News! What a wonderful inspiring post to get me started on this beautiful morning. Thanks for your inspiring truths...


Gail said...


oh my, your kind appreciation makes me blush. phew. "thank you' for your love and understanding and shared wisdom and truth.

Love to you

Lola said...

Ciao Gail,
thanks for reminding me that less is more.
It's so true but I often forget about it.

Gail said...

you are so very welcome. :-) Nice to see you, as always.

Love Gail

Wonderingsoul said...

I read what you wrote yesterday Gail, but jst didn't feel able to write because it felt like such a huge post... written with such a blend of rawness and wisdom and love and pain.
Your words carry such courage and such honesty that it quite literally, made me a little breathless.
I understand so much of what you say when you write about your sister.
I understand what it is to feel the pain and the despair of her losses and her heartbreak.
It can leave you very depleted in some ways. And yes, perhaps less is more at times... I agree... agree that when everything is stripped away, you re left with what is most meaningful and most valuable...but Gail, I also think that there is a point where another's despair can eat you up and I pray that you are able to find sufficient warmth and company on this harsh part of the journey.
You are so brave and I admire you so much.
Your sister is lucky to have someone like you to feel with and fuse with at the times when she is most desperate.

Make sure that you take some time to be you and to feel your things too.

Much love

Gail said...


Oh my you write so beautifully, honestly and lovingly. I know you know oh so well what it is to carry ones sister in your own heart and spirit, in every fiber of your being. And I am also painfully aware of how important it is that I separate from it so I can balance, refuel and gain strength. I have a safe and peaceful have to which I come home - and I can rest here - although I think the rest will be fitful for a time - as the realities, the harsh realities take hold. I m defining my power and my limits - searching though my faith and realizing even more just how precious every moment is.

Love to you my dear and brave freind