Thursday, March 22, 2012

22 Days...

It's been 22 days since I last posted. I'm not really sure where the time has gone, but I can tell you there's been quite a bit that's filled up the space! As I lay in bed this morning thinking on what I wanted to write about, I decided that instead of planning things out I would just begin where we last left off - the day I found myself behind that speeding ambulance - Tuesday, February 28th. Where we go from here, at least as I type these words, remains a bit of a mystery! We'll see how this goes...

This picture was taken the very same day my mother was transported to the hospital. Coincidence? Not much. You see, about two months ago my husband set out on a mission. Every day on his way to work he must travel through the wonderful little river town of Stillwater, Minnesota. The bridge in this picture is the infamous Stillwater Lift Bridge, the object of much controversy due to its lovely historic value and the necessity of it's replacement. The mission? To park his car downtown each morning as he passes through on his way to work and climb the 160 stairs that run up the cliff to this vantage point...and take a picture. Rain or shine.

February 29, 2012
These are the stairs. One by one, each seven inches above the last, he climbs his way to the top. I don't really know what goes through his mind as he puts one foot in front of the other, but I can't help but think of Sisyphus as he rolls his stone up the mountain. If you are familiar with the Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus, he describes how the gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, only to have it roll back down from its own weight. What had begun as a sort of punishment, in the end proved to be the source of Sisyphus' joy. "The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy!"

February 29, 2012
A lot happened right before the above picture was taken. A lot happened before that day my mother found herself fighting for her life. On February 27th, 2012, at 12:56 in the afternoon, my first grand daughter, Adella Marie Baune was born into this beautiful world.

February 27, 2012
These are the feet of this little one so dear on the day of her birth.

February 27, 2012
This is her mother and father, in the moments after her arrival, in the holy space of bearing witness to the miracle of life. It is a day filled with moments I will never forget.

March 2, 2012
Just a few short days after Adella was born, we had our first snow day of the year. Quite different from the perpetual state of blizzard that we had the year before, this winter has been extremely calm. Nevertheless, Mr. Johnson made his way to the top and snapped his picture. This is one of my favorites.

March 4, 2012
They say in the Midwest, if you don't like the weather, just wait a minute. How true! This picture was taken out my kitchen window. It was 45 degrees this day and nothing but sun. Little did we know the beautiful days that were to come!

March 6, 2012
On Monday March 5th, after a long infusion day at the hospital, my husband drove me to my daughter and son-in-law's home to spend five days being Grandma! The picture above is of me sitting on the floor the morning of my first shift. There simply are no words to describe the sights, smells and sounds of a new baby. My heart so full, I could hardly keep the tears from drenching us both.

March 7, 2012
I almost posted this picture first. This is a picture of my father and mother visiting Adella in her home for the first time. From that ambulance ride only a week before, to this moment, the world seemed to turn upside down and spin backwards in-between. We just never know what the next second will bring, but when you find yourself in moments such as these - let gratefulness burst the seams of your heart.    

March 11,2011
On Sunday, March 11th, we drove to Stillwater to run errands. Not wanting to pass up the opportunity of a beautiful day, we stopped so my husband could climb the stairs and take his picture. Little did I know that the picture of the day would be of me! This is the shot he snapped on his decent.

I would have loved to accompany him to his summit, but illness makes these endeavors simply out of the question. I will say though, that watching him made me so very happy. He's an interesting guy, this man I married. Quirky, eccentric and gifted with the absolute most bone dry sense of humor I have ever known - I cannot imagine one day without him. He is the most beautiful man I have ever known.

March 14, 2012
The average temperature for our area on March 14th is 45 degrees. This day it was 73! Within the next three days we would top out at a glorious 80!! You can see the ice on the river melting in this sun drenched morning shot.

March 17, 2012
I love Saturdays. On Friday night I composed a list a mile long of things that needed to be done. After morning coffee, some good reading, fiddling with a few stones and being serenaded by Mr. Johnson... we totally re-evaluated the nature of the list. It was a beautiful day.

March 17, 2012
This is a picture of my daughter Sara. She is the second part to a two part deal...her twin sister Emma. Both girls absolutely love to cook. On this Saturday Sara decided to make a double layer lemon raspberry meringue cake! It...was...heavenly!!

March 17, 2012

March 17, 2012
Picture perfect!

Another event worth mentioning is the decreasing of our household size by one. A happy/sad event, our daughter Anna moved out of our house and into her first home the beginning of this month. As is the case in any household where there are more children than bedrooms, this created quite the opportunity! The picture below is of the room our daughter Sara occupied prior to Anna moving out. The color, like the cake...raspberry!

THIS is the room now! Thanks to the painting handy work of both Emma and Sara, the aforementioned room went from raspberry to chocolate on March 17th!! We now, for the first time ever, have an official "spare bedroom"!!! I think the last time I lived in a home with a spare bedroom I might have been 17 and living at home with my parents. I find myself just sitting in this room in glorious amazement. Drawers and closet empty, this room is ready for company!

March 18, 2012

March 18, 2012
I swiped this picture of Sara off her facebook page. For so many reasons, it just makes me feel good. Finding ourselves in yet another 80 degree day, Emma and Sara decided to take to the road and walk down to the local BP gas station. 

Since becoming sick, I find myself living much of my life as a spectator. I think this is a natural progression the older we get anyway, but being ill has sped the process along a bit. I don't really mind it though. Life is slower and the viewing comes easier and with a certain amount of wisdom that I didn't have in my younger or more healthier years. 

There's been a lot to look at the past few weeks. A lot to watch. 

Camus describes what he thinks Sisyphus looks like as he pushes the stone back up the hill, "one sees his face screwed up, the cheek against the stone, the shoulder bracing the clay covered mass, the foot wedging it, the fresh start with arms outstretched, the wholly human security of two clotted hands. At the very end of his effort measured by skyless space and time without depth, the purpose is achieved." 

This is life.

"There is no sun without shadow, and it's essential to know the night." 

The moment my mother held Adella was made sweeter by fact that she had taken that ambulance ride only seven days before. The gift of an 80 degree day was made warmer by the March blizzard that blew right before it. A Saturday with my husband was made all the more precious by the letting go of a list made the night before. A river fresh and flowing after a long and frozen winter. The end of one story so that another can begin. 

This is life. 

Some might think my husband ridiculous for climbing those stairs every morning. Just as some might pity poor Sisyphus as he rolls that stone up the hill yet one more time.

I imagine them both happy. 

March 20, 2012


Christine said...

This is an amazing post Theresa! Between your writing and the photographs, it was like being on a spiritual journey with you. So touching!

I loved the fact that your husband plays guitar AND does photgraphy, as does Chuck. And the way you describe your love for him reminds me of how very lucky I (and you) are!

Congrats again on your newest family addition!

Theresa said...

Thanks Christine!! Yes, I think we have a LOT in common!!

abcsofra said...

Congratulations on that bundle of joy! Mmmmm....the smell of babies...I just love that smell. And sometimes blessings come in all forms: a second chance at life to share a new grandbaby/great grandbaby, children that move out and onward to prove we have done our job, climbing of stairs to perhaps a choosen destination that maybe...just maybe may be your hubby's stairway to the top of the world. Thank you for sharing. And it was perfect timing, you absence from blogging as my computer went belly up :-) Now we are both back in force :-)

Unknown said...

Theresa, this is beautiful. I love your writing and positivity. Thank you for sharing.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

A grandbaby, what a wonderful gift for your family. She is an adorable little baby, and she looks like you too! Her new little life will bring so much joy.
I love it when you post, and hate for it to end. You share so much and gives us much to think about and feel. We feel your ups and downs and makes us search our own souls. We could listen to you for a very long time.
We loved looking at the stacked rocks and seeing your husband playing his guitar. We can see how much he fills your life.


Theresa said...

Yes, a bundle of joy!! Thank you all for your lovely comments about this beautiful little miracle. I STILL cannot wrap my head around the whole idea...maybe I should go visit again....just to make sure it's real! ;-)

Deb: I have to tell you that your comment about my husband was absolutely spot on. There is so much connection to what you wrote and what's going on in his life right now. When I read your words to him the tears instantly welled up in his eyes. He's a dreamer, a wonderful dreamer.

Tweedles: Well, that just goes two ways my dear friend! I love reading your words as well!! Makes me wish we could just meet up for coffee and talk for a few hours. I really was not sure what I was going to write about yesterday - so just piled the pictures together and went through the weeks events. It just goes to show me that the beauty, the lessons, the's always there. Most days we're just to busy to see what freely awaits us. And how full the Joy is when we can share it with others! Thank you!!

Thank you ALL, for walking along.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Many times I come back- when you do not know that I am here. I sit quiety and read your words. I try to feel what you feel. And then when I am back in my world- I search for that inner quiet place too.....
I search- but its really just waiting for me to find it.

Theresa said...

It freely awaits all of us, Tweedles. It's our offering ourselves to the stillness that comes difficult at times. And only in stillness can we see and feel clearly. Our thoughts are much like the stick that stirs the pond. We have this tendecy that tells us that the harder we stir (think about it), the better we are to figure out the answers. When in Truth, letting the water settle...become completely when we see most clearly - ourselves, our world...our Truth.
Bless you as you continue to search, as we ALL do, for that inner quiet place. THIS is where peace resides.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Sisyphus! We are back around to that, and I see that story so differently now. Remember when I had been getting poked about Sisyphus, and I walked into your cube to find that book laying there waiting for me!? The universe so consistently provides me with what I need to move forward. Miss you, my friend. And I know you are doing just fine!

Anonymous said...

Hey Ms. Johnson... love your posts! I'm off FB for the time being but you know my email addresses. XXO Lori