The other night, I went to bed but was restless with the chatter in my mind, so around midnight, I got back up. My daughter Bethani heard me stirring, and she came down to sit with me in the moonlight drenched living room. We sat and shared secrets until 2 in the morning — laughing, tearing up here and there, sharing the deepest secrets of our hearts — reveling in girl talk. At 27, Bethani is on the cusp of that big beautiful scary exciting future, and as it turns out, so am I as I go along with her.
Bonding in girl talk in the middle of the night, shushing our laughter so as to not wake up “dad”, these are the best of times — times I’ve had with my sisters, and my friends, and now my daughter. These are the blooms in our lovely “Life Gardens” borne from sharing our secrets and keeping them.
Life is all about secrets. The first ones were the ones I didn’t know were secrets until I was told, “You shouldn’t tell the family secrets, B.” So, often secrets are just happenings that we shouldn’t talk about. Hummmmmmm. It took a while to discern what was a secret and what was okay to share. Therapy helped a lot in later years. These are the blooms of discernment in our gardens.
As a healthcare person, keeping one’s privacy is crucial to the care of an individual, this was so important that even if someone told me that so-and-so had told her that she saw me at the hospital while she was a patient, I would simply smile and not engage in conversation. These are the blooms of honor.
Prayers, the most precious secrets of all whispered to God in the sweet quiet, or sometimes in that square inch of peace in the din of life, when you know it’s just between you and Him for others, or maybe for yourself or for your gorgeous daughter. Carrying the burden of prayer is an honor. I never even feel the urge to discuss the secrets brought to me for prayer, so coveted is my respect for the person in need. Honor, faith, prayer, these are the hallmarks of the secrets we keep. Prayers are the blooms of faith in our garden.
In our garden, weeds will spring from the seeds of spoken secrets, either intentional or not, by me or a “trusted” friend, but the blooms cannot be destroyed by these weeds, and while the weeds can be pulled, cut, dug out, they will return to mingle in the blooms of friendship, but only as a reminder of how important honoring a secret really is. These weeds are the blooms of “forgiveness”, that secrets told are a reminder to forgive ourselves and others.
So, it is with my little girl, grown and ready and educated and strong and beautiful and compassionate and full of moxy for the life that spreads out in front of her. Sharing secrets with her momma, in the middle of the night, while we laugh and feel hopeful and excited and tamp it down just a bit with realism. These are the sweetest secrets we keep, and these blooms are the most beautiful.