Monday, August 08, 2005

Quick Reflections on being 23, I mean 32

"Quick reflections" sounds like a bit of an oxymoron, right? Reflections are the conclusions that come from slowly and carefully gathering thoughts floating aimlessly at the edges of one's mind and forming them into a meaningful whole. One problem: how likely am I to go through this process? Not very, at least not without having those thoughts from the edge pass through my mouth first! Or in this case, the ends of my fingers...and with the further contstraint that I need to start making dinner in about 30 seconds.
So this doesn't seem like a great time for reflecting, but I know that if I say I'll do it later, I won't. And I think it's important for me to get a couple of things out there before I turn the dreaded 33 and enter a whole new world next Sunday. Maybe the change from 32 to 33 won't be as dramatic as I'm trying to make it, but hey, someone has to celebrate my birthday!
32 was a year that went in many directions other than what I would have predicted, had you asked me last August 14th what the next year held. I probably would have said that I would have another baby and maybe go on a couple of trips to Japan or Oregon, and that we would build a garage or remodel our house, and maybe I would finally be better at having my quiet time with Jesus.
Instead, we lost that baby ("Budo-chan"--means "Little Grape," that was the size of the baby when he/she went to heaven) in October. Going to the ER and confirming the suspicion that I was losing the baby was horrible, but I'm still so thankful that it was a weekend so Aogu was with me. And I'll also never forget that Megan took Koji with no questions asked at an unseemly hour of the morning.
I didn't feel strange at all about going to be with Jen when Clara was born a few weeks later. What a privelege! In fact, that experience, and watching Carol at work helping Jen become a mother made me think that I'd like to be a doula someday too.
It was wonderful to be with the fam in Oregon for Thanksgiving. Sometimes I wish I could "tesser" to them (see Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time or maybe it's one of her other books), that is, just fold up the U.S. (or make that Japan and the Pacific Ocean, now) so that where I am and where they are would be right next to each other, and I could step from where I am to where they are like I'm crossing the street in front of me. Is anyone following my sudden sci-fi thoughts?!
In November, I got pregnant again. Looking back, I wonder if it was a bad idea to try again so soon. But the doctor said it was OK. And then, right before Christmas we started hearing a rumor that Aogu's company might want to send us to Tokyo. That was strange and exciting to think about; you see, this offer came through as I was honestly starting to to feel that I loved being where I was. Ironic stuff, this life that God has given me.
We tried to sort out the offer without talking about it which was surely easier for Aogu than for me. Oh, but I had to tell Megan, Shanel and Tosha because I was meant to be planning and even speaking at a women's retreat with them in May... we decided we should go because it would be a chance to try out life as a family in Tokyo. It would mean having our second baby in Tokyo, but we figured we would be able to do that if we were meant to.
Except we weren't meant to because we lost that baby in early February. Good-bye for now, sweetie; I can't wait to meet you someday! I'm sorry that I couldn't even give you a nickname--it was too hard--but I know we'll know each other when we meet.
On March 7th we came to this room (what happened to the "quick" part of these reflections?). Five months to the day have passed, and it's been an experience that I can't sum up or understand yet. I feel like I'm on a roller coaster, one day thankful and excited to be here and the next desperate to be back with my community (I'm not desperate for that weather though; can't we all move to Hawaii together?). The more of life I live, the more I think it's question after question and not so many answers.
Now that I've skipped over five months with one paragraph and come to no conclusions, I'm going to go make dinner. Thanks for joining in my partial journey of The Year of 32. Maybe I'll try to do justice to the last few months another day when I'm not so hungry!


hadashi said...

look at you, writing birthday reflections so early on... it is good to hear you reflect openly over what was a very rollercoaster year or two. it sounds to me like God is healing you & growing you in ways that you couldn't have fathomed just a year ago. as i have a few months into the 33-world, it honestly doesn't feel too different from 32-world. you'll be just fine!

Mom said...

Of course, my heart was/is with you every minute of all your days. I love how you use words, lovely words to open your own heart to the world (literally) and invite it/them to know you and Jesus. You are the best, dear Jamie. I remembered my 32nd year by thinking about how old you were. . .8! We lived on Edgecrest and on your eighth birthday, I am looking at your photo right now. You're holding your birthday cake in the glass 9 x 12 pan. The icing is green, the letters are gold. It's quite fancy (the cake). um. . .tesser. . .I like that idea. . .a lot!!

Jodie said...

Wow, I'm so sorry about your miscarriages. But God knows the deepest desires of your heart and He is faithful! I'm looking forward to reading one day soon that Koji will be a big brother! :)

Julie said...

Glad we were able to share some of the good and exciting and difficult times of your 32nd year: ISI, supper club, Clara's birth, Tokyo in May, even the loss of Budo-chan. Last year at this time you were working with the Yellow and Green groups in it's a whole year later and it just seems like yesterday. The housegroup we inherited from you is splitting in two and will probably look completely different even from last year's group by the time we start up again in the fall: but you can be proud of your "grandchild" group, I think! We sure wouldn't have been able to do it without you.

Wishing you all the best for a wonderful celebration on Sunday. We're having Culture Night that evening in ISI, and Mark and I will be thinking about you and missing you!