by Jill Klusendorf, Community Life

Since October 28th of this past year, my usual daily routine has looked something like this:

  • Visit a parent in the hospital, sometimes both
  • Arrange home health care
  • Consult priests
  • Purchase home health care furnishings
  • Return "unliked" said furnishings
  • Consult doctors
  • Harass siblings into pitching in
  • Research Shamans
  • Harass hospital staff and/or Medicare
  • Attempt to get to work, or some work done
  • And, just like is says on the back of the shampoo bottle:

I tell you this not to ellicit sympathy, as I know this is a part of the greater circle of life, one that many of you have spun around a few times yourselves. That, in and of itself, gives me peace knowing that in some way, we are all in this together. The real reason I tell you about this is to let you know that Church of the Holy Comforter, and All Things Bright and Beautiful, every parishioner, and every tiny beautiful soul-student are my sanctuary.

I remember writing in my very first Dove article about the beauty of serendipity. What I didn't realize at the time was that with serendipity often comes sanctuary. Where else on the planet, in your most vulnerable moments of worry, uncertainty, sheer terror, and despair can you be asked by a three-year-old, "Mrs. Jill, did you miss me?" Or, upon seeing a two-year-old in the halls at a distance, receive a running opened-arms hug, practically mid-flight? Where else can you get the wisdom, blessings and understanding of your boss, who just so happens to be clergy? The support of your co-workers, clergy and laity alike? The shared experiences and shared tears of so many parishioners, who have become so much more to me than just "parishioners?"

I can tell you exactly where to find that sanctuary: it's called Church of the Holy Comforter, and, in case you need a reminder, it is located at 222 Kenilworth Avenue, Kenilworth, IL. You should pop in sometime,.I'd bet you'd find that same sanctuary awaits you.

So, I close with heartfelt thanks to all that is CHC and ATB&B, and leave you with what is actually a greeting. May we have many more, together.

"Dear Friend, I felt it shelter to speak to you."
                                          Emily Dickinson