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Monday, January 11, 2010

Of Babies, Broccoli, a Broken Faux Roman Column Plant Base, and a Bench (that nearly broke the ol' man's back)

So did I live like I knew I was loved by God...yesterday? Yes and No. And that's probably as it will always be with me this side of heaven. But first the "no." I was in the car with my wife when she said something (or I said something) that triggered a fit of rage within my soul. It had to do with the past. It had to do with the limitations of my wife's love and my own. It had to do with old wounds that serve as constant reminders that I am still a broken vessel in desperate need of the grace and mercy of God. Any way, I definitely was not aware (or at least chose not to be aware) of the grace of God at that moment in the car. I was aware of my anger and it colored the world red, and something in me didn't want to allow God to change the color. BUT then after a short period of strained silence we came home to the smell of a hot pot of Italian Broccoli soup with twisted strands of pesto-egg noodles that my son-in-law, Andrew, made from scratch—including the twisted noodles that my son, Jason, helped to twist with his own nine-year-old-challenged fingers. It was transforming. Yes, the kitchen was transformed into a war zone of scattered flour, spices and dirty measuring utensils, but more importantly my heart was transformed from a raging beast to a appreciative (and hungry) father-in-law. And then there was The Baby. Miriam, my almost two-month-old grand daughter, is a constant source of grace. Her every movement of eye, tongue, finger or toe is a revelation of the divine. And in-between the broccoli soup and baby, my wife looked into my eyes to see if the beast was still present, and it wasn't, and we gave each other a peace offering in the form of two sets of petaled lips meeting. And then there was the broken faux Roman Column Plant Base. As we were savoring the delicate soup at the table complete with fresh bread and real butter with browned bits of garlic, someone commented on handsome and rather large L-shaped wooden bench that sat in our living room. It is a recent addition to the eclectic collection of furniture that fills the Hironaga household. The comment lead to a quick story about how the man of the house attempted to lift the huge thing on his back from the backyard to the front of the house because it couldn't fit through the back door and in the process knocked over and broke the aforementioned faux plaster plant base which led to a lowering of the bench and an admission of defeat which lead to the wife-of-the-house coming out with her bundled grand-daughter to the back yard to see what all the commotion was about and rather than pointing out how foolish the 50-year-old-man-of-the-house was for trying to carry something on his back that was meant for a much younger and stronger back, she instead made a simple suggestion of tilting the bench at a certain angle which would make it possible to slide it through the little gate instead of the herculean attempt to hoist it over the fence....well, I think you get the point. That the old man didn't get angry at the old woman's suggestion was grace. That there was the bench in the backyard in the first place was grace. How did the bench happen to get there in the first place (along with two tables)? Grace. Here's the story in one breath: went to La Madeleine (a french bakery) on Saturday to meet a good brother for breakfast (a habit we started over 10 years ago) and talked with the manager about how sad it was that all the old scarred and stained wooden furniture had been replaced with sleek new steel-legged mass produced stuff to which she agreed and said that there was still a table or two left in the back and that I could have them if I could carry them to which I replied, "Wow! Really?" OK, I've gone long enough, but I know I could go on a lot more. Well, I guess I'll have to continue this evening. See you then.
Under Grace,

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