My Darling Lifeboats…

Far away at the end of a beautiful pier, a custom-built shed houses a most wonderful thing. A lifeboat, primed and ready at all times to thunder down the slope and into the thrashing seas to rescue the lost and floundering.

In the UK, lifeboats are manned by trained volunteers, and at any hour of the day or night, they can be called upon to make their way, post-haste, to their station, to effect a rescue. And so often their heroics go unnoticed. Yet quite apart from the valiant bravery of those sailors who risk so much for strangers, the lifeboats themselves are remarkable things.

Incredibly buoyant and manouevreable, packed with the latest gadgetry and equipment, these boats are truly the pinnacle of sea-rescue – a welcome fast response and floating refuge for those in need – they pluck their targets from the stormy waters and bring them back to safer waters.

Today, a dear friend of mine commented to me that in spite of all the troubles and challenges I face, I have been blessed with many ‘lifeboats’: my family; my friends; my faith; my job; my home…and that for now, a good idea would be to focus on them. On these blessings.

And truly it’s the friends-and-relations for whom I’m most thankful.

You are my lifeboats.

No gimmicky copy&paste awards for this one. Just simple truth – without you I would be lost.

You are *so* fast to respond when I begin to flounder, and so fierce, and even as I roll my eyes and wallow and bitch, a smaller part of me is paying attention to the depth and strength of your care, and later my eyes grow huge with wonder. Because I know that there’s nothing I could do to deserve or earn your affection and the warmth of our friendship, but that it is a gift, freely given of the generosity of your spirit, and I marvel.

You encourage and support and validate without indulging me, and are quick to point out the Reals of the situation when I start growing maudlin and fatalistic, and that is brave and vastly underappreciated at the time, but it genuinely does make a difference – your opinion is important to me, and I must try to remember that your perspective is the clearer for being a) once removed and b) life-wiser.

You let me feel my Feels, you listen to my tears, you wrap yourself around me (in person or spirit) in hugs which begin to lift me from the mired places of darkness I find myself so frequently in this season.

You make me tinysmile. Or giggle. Or HUGESMILE. Or *snork* with laughter. And these things are SOHUGE, because I know that when I’ve lost my sense of humour, shit just got bad.

You pray, send warm thoughts, best wishes, warm fuzzies…all these can *only* help. I’m sure of it.

You share so much with me – your sympathy, compassion and encouragement, but also your wisdom, your experience, your advice. Your story. Your self. And you are utterly and endlessly wonderful for doing so.

You take time from your day to look after me.

You find poignant words of hope, to rescue mine.

You cheer me up and teach my spirit to soar again, and I feel the reprieve.

You remind me that there’s silliness and fun to be had.

You remind me that there’s a whole world out there, carrying on, and that it’s worth climbing out of this hole to be part of again.

You’re not afraid to tell me off when I need it, but you won’t let me be too hard on myself.

You hold my hopes and remind me that they’re worthwhile.

You help me be mindful that this is not yet the end – that things will be different, but that it’s okay to feel the depth of Now, and you hold me as I nearly-but-not-quite-drown.

You shine the sunshine of your love and care into my saddened heart, and I can remember the colour of blue skies and begin to glow.

And whether your words are spoken into my ear and muffled by a hug, delivered through my letterbox by the postman, or wired across continents and oceans by the awesome power of the internet, they matter.

You matter.


Because lately, in spite of everything, and throughout everything, I’ve somehow been able to stand joyfully accused of many incredible things – of encouraging others, of Goodness, of loveliness and wonder – and I know that I might be broken, but am not destroyed, and that’s in large part to you. When I fall apart, you’re there, picking up the pieces and helping to stick me back together to carry on trying to make the world a tiny bit better, one Good Thing at a time.

I can say it no better than Josh can sing it – and this is dedicated – with love I can still feel and express thanks to the example I’ve been set by each of my darling lifeboats – to you.

I’m not going to list you all, partly because I don’t want to miss anyone out, and partly because it’s not about naming and faming. It’s about you. And me. And if you read this and you think “Am I part of this? Does she mean me? I can see myself in some but not all of this…” then yes. It’s for you.

Because if I wrote properly, to each of you, how wonderful you are and how much you matter, I’d never stop writing. Truly.

Ten Things of Thankful
Ten Things of Thankful

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96 thoughts on “My Darling Lifeboats…

  1. Pingback: Fixing my own boat | Considerings

  2. Pingback: On Stubbornness and Self | Considerings

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  4. I am SO glad you have a great support system. You are so sensitive and empathetic to others – it’s good you can accept caring and compassion from those around you. You’re a very special person, Lizzi. You touch so many lives through your work and through your work as a blogger. You deserve many darling lifeboats around you always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t deserve anything, but I’m so, so grateful when people choose to befriend me and allow me to come to matter to them. It’s an immense honour and the friendships I’ve built in this odd World Between the Wires are ones I’ve come to cherish. Thank you so much for such a gorgeous comment, Jen – if I ever need a character reference, I shall know where to come! I’m definitely blessed with lovely friends and an AWESOME support system, and thank goodness for it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Ten Things of Thankful #93 | Considerings

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  8. Thank you – y'all help so much – my bloggy friends are a force to be
    reckoned with, as are my IRL ones. Life has met its match in them, and
    will NOT be allowed to win me 😀

    Glad to have provided a happy thought for you 🙂

    Like

  9. Kristi that was a most beautiful thing, right up until Don went and
    ruined it and turned it and made me giggle (sorry! Don – you're an
    asshole and there's a really special thank you for you on the underside
    of my boot…come here and let me deliver it with force 😉 )

    Thank
    you so much for you and for everything. You're one of the people I
    could write forever to in her own right… *MASSIVEHUGS* 😀 ❤

    Like

  10. Yes, and thank you. And I DO!

    My little clark-heart recognises
    the akinness in you, and your wonderful ability to share the map and
    light the trails. Thank you.

    We shall see about work! Le sigh!

    Like

  11. Awwwh thanks.

    I'm so glad you had those people around you to
    support you and rescue you, and am absolutely PROFOUNDLY grateful for
    all the people I've had around me, who have repeatedly thrown me the
    lifebelt and hauled me out, dripping, only to watch me fall right back
    over the edge moments later and need rescuing again.

    At some point I hope to get to shore and stop falling back in…

    Thanks for your words and your friendship and support xXx

    Like

  12. It's an amazing analogy…annnd just to wind you up and set you off – it was Chris who came up with it 😉 ReadySteadyGO!

    You
    do your job absolutely beautifullywonderfullymarvellously. And in fact,
    in spite of the comic relief, you do provide moments of incredible
    sweetness, too, so there's that.

    I feel like I won level 10 of
    'Internexpect the Unexpected' when I found you one day and decided we
    should be friends. And there were only ever 8 levels in that game…

    (me neither – not really – not one person at a time. You did better ❤ )

    Like

  13. 🙂 Historically speaking, of my wonderful bloggy friends, you earned
    this song first, my dear, and I still mean it. Your amazing spirit and
    your constant support and your incredible perspective and generosity in
    sharing all of the above are so precious to me, and you know that.

    And
    you're a pro at handling my illogical and bitchy. And hey, call it
    preparation for when Buttercup gets going with her rebellious teen years
    😉

    Thank you. I shall hold onto that thought. That will help.

    Thank you for you *MASSIVEHUGS*

    Like

  14. You too Cyndi – you have a special niche in my clarkheart because you
    *so* get this (horrible icky yuck wish you didn't) and because you 'get'
    so much else, as well. And because you're totally lovely. That
    happiness is absolutely mutual *HUGS*

    Like

  15. It's been my strategy for some months now – when the hard times hit, to
    surround myself IMMEDIATELY with people. I need them. Life is too hard
    alone, and it's not how we're built. We're made to operate within
    relationships. The end.

    Hope your Christmas Eve is beautiful and full of wonder x

    Like

  16. I'm glad you have a circle of people around you who can do this for you.
    I can't imagine the desolation otherwise, of the person who has no-one.

    Glad to be a part of your world – I look forward to getting to know you 😀

    Like

  17. I know – it's such bad timing that you've got flu at your house 😦 Not
    that there's ever a good time, but this is particularly bad. Is there
    any way you can defer Christmas, or have an extra one once you're all
    better?

    Good for you for trying to focus on those positives. I
    know it's really difficult when you're feeling deathly, and I was really
    impressed with your Tuesday Ten today, and I'm really glad you've
    linked it up with us.

    Sending you prayers and best wishes that
    you find some things to thoroughly enjoy about tomorrow, and that you
    all continue to improve in health.

    (and yes – I try to be as much
    of a lifeboat friend as I can…I just seem to be in 'consumer' mode at
    the moment, rather than having much to offer…)

    Like

  18. Yes, it was a pretty little back-hander, that. I probably put it in to
    make myself feel better because I've been such a horrendously miserable
    bitch to live with or be near for the past couple of weeks.

    Always, *always* remember that here, I am heavily edited.

    Take what good you can from my example, just remember there's always a 'rest of' the story.

    Like

  19. grins* I'm so glad you like it, and that it gave you lovely (if sad)
    memories of your Grandmother, and how wonderful she was. How awesome
    that she was such a beautiful presence and force for Good in your lives.

    The next posts are less good. But they go down and up and end on ups, at least.

    I'll keep it open a while – 5 hours to go, at this stage 😉

    Like

  20. *grins* I'm so glad you like it, and that it gave you lovely (if sad) memories of your Grandmother, and how wonderful she was. How awesome that she was such a beautiful presence and force for Good in your lives.

    The next posts are less good. But they go down and up and end on ups, at least.

    I'll keep it open a while – 5 hours to go, at this stage 😉

    Like

  21. I think this might be my favorite thing I've ever read here, Lizzi. 🙂 So I'm reading, I'm reading, and when I got to the video, I started crying – without even hitting play – because I love love love that song. It reminds me of my beautiful Grandmother. She was exactly that for all of her kids and grandkids and the great grandkids she had the opportunity to know – the lifeboat, the one who raised us up in so many ways.

    Already read this and your next post while I was on my self-imposed hiatus (yup, I cheated), so I know how your holiday turned out.

    Oh, and um please keep this renegade hop open so I can link up my nearly-finished renegade post #2. Eight hours left feels like an awful lot of pressure…

    Like

  22. hey! you still up?!?!

    I trust no one minds my posting yet another Doctrine post in this here bloghop here. (You know what they say, 'if it's worth doing, it's worth over-doing')

    …and besides, you are very encouraging of my scottian secondary… (yeah!! lets post a thousand posts in the TToT Renagade….

    Like

  23. Yes, it was a pretty little back-hander, that. I probably put it in to make myself feel better because I've been such a horrendously miserable bitch to live with or be near for the past couple of weeks.

    Always, *always* remember that here, I am heavily edited.

    Take what good you can from my example, just remember there's always a 'rest of' the story.

    Like

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