Saturday, April 12, 2008

Control--or Surrender?

As the family gathers and the memorial service approaches (3 pm on Monday, April 14), I want everything to go well.

I want the flowers to be beautiful, photos to be displayed well, music and sharing of memories in the service to go well, the cookies and coffee after the service to be appropriate.

I want stacks of my mother's book to be available to those who attend the service. She was so proud of Adventures of a Telluride Native, and I put so much effort into it. I have so many boxes of it in my garage! What better time to get rid of some copies--instead of distributing a little card with her photo and a few facts about her life, a whole book.

I want the buffet at my house beforehand to be relaxed and comfortable, to provide enough appropriate food (plates of cheese, sliced meat, and fruit? or Asian chicken salad from Pick Up Stix?). I want the family gathering in a restaurant after the service to go well.

In fact, I want everyone to be happy in sharing their sense of family as well as their grief--all 20-30 of us and friends who will gather as well. I want to control everything and make everything perfect!

But--uh--maybe I'm going to need to give up that control.

Maybe this is going to be a big week for Al-Anon style acceptance of "the things I cannot change" and recognizing that the only thing I can change is myself. I can give myself peace of mind, no matter what other difficult interactions occur, by accepting what comes and trying to stay close to God for sustenance and guidance.

Today's reading in Courage to Change: One Day at a Time in Al-Anon II, advises "...surrender, accept my discomfort, and pray for guidance" (April 12, p. 103).

These few days will be an excellent opportunity to grow in that ability to surrender, accept discomfort, enjoy the good moments, and pray for guidance.

As Psalm 37 puts it, "Delight in YHWH, and you will be given the desires of your heart.... Rest in YHWH, and wait patiently."

For starters, I can give up having copies of Mom's book available at the service. Emily has strong feelings about not wanting it there.

But for anyone who wants to read about Evelyn's childhood in Telluride and her years as a Navy nurse and professor of nursing, as well as look at early family photos in Telluride, used copies are available from (under Evelyn Gustafson Eggebroten), and new copies can be ordered for $20 from Western Reflections Publishing Company, The mailing address is Western Reflections Publishing, P.O. Box 1149, Lake City, Colorado 81235.

Adventures of a Telluride Native by Evelyn Gustafson Eggebroten (Boulder, Colorado, 1999).


ellen said...

mom! you are so beautiful, and your blog is a true reflection of that. you make me so proud!

Anne Eggebroten said...

Thanks, Ellen, for your support.

Now if I could continue to apply the surrender--not control--method to other situations. :)