Ann Voskamp posted the other day about counting fish.

You should really go read it, but if you don’t the gist of the story is this…

Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.

Peter, in all his flaws and rejections, and blunt mistakes counted the fish. Just like I am counting my gifts. Counting my gifts, being full of gratitude to overcome because something in the telling of her stories resonates deep in my soul. Naming the gifts, putting pen to paper so they’re forever recorded. Making sure that I find something to be thankful for so that I don’t dwell on the things that will eat and destroy and desiccate my soul.

But I miss my mom.

And it was Thanksgiving and she wasn’t here. None of them were.

We made too much food like they used to do. On purpose, I suspect.

I tried not to stress when we were running late. I wanted to get to my brother’s early. I really did. And I tried and failed. Failed like so many times before. Failed like Peter.

But we got there safe. And alive. The food, the drink, the laughter. It was good.

Most of it.

Such innocent moments hold so much weight. Weight enough to nearly bring the world down around me. A moment that shouldn’t have held anything, a moment to be forgotten. But it won’t go away.

A stupid moment.

Speed-dial. My dad hands me his phone to set the speed-dial. “Put it on number two,” he says, “number two is empty.”

Empty.

When the night was almost over I found a bag of pictures in my brother’s man-cave. And, so much like her experience, and because she counted fish, I counted fish.

counting fish. 153.  i’ll count to infinity if it will help.