for lack of better title.
I hate how “the holidays” are a dreadful thing now. For most people that means it’s time for family and friends a break from their jobs…people are in a good mood…for me now it’s this foreboding thing that others who have suffered severe grief and tragedy tell me to “prepare” for. My counselor tells me that might be the time I want to think about medication- because no, I haven’t gone on it yet. It’s coming up and I’m feeling a bit of anxiety trying to put some plans in place. I think it best if we travel somewhere different…but nothing has solidified in my mind yet.
Today I was thinking about how this week was “better” because we had a plan and a routine for each day. Monday we checked out a new play space, Tuesday went to IKEA with the church play group, Wed. an outing with grandma and grandpa- apple picking- today the library and playground. The further I go along in this process, the more routine becomes crucial. If I was working, we’d have more structure inherently because I’d have to get up at the same time, take Audrey somewhere, come home at the same time, etc. But as a stay-at-home mom- which I guess I still am- at least for now- there’s no structure imposed upon you- you have to create the structure. This was apparent to me even before this happened. So, lately I’ve been thinking of a meal plan- that is set, and even picking out both of our outfits for the next day the night before- so that’s all set. Not because I want to be militaristic, but just because I’m in survival mode and that seems easier than winging it every day.
Those thoughts led me to think of the Captain in The Sound of Music. He was a widower no? And probably more than the fact that he was a Captain, his family was run the way it was to survive.
I don’t plan on getting a whistle or teaching Audrey that goodnight song…but still.
I realize today, yet again, how much I’m a “works” person and how hard that makes it for me to get the concept of GRACE. When we got the bed bugs, I remember saying outloud as we gathered our few belongings from the apartment- “but I worked SO hard…” And today I found myself thinking about Dan that way too…”but he worked so hard these past few years- and then to die?” It’s as if I believe hard work is the answer- when I know it’s not. I sound utterly foolish to hold up my meager works as a sacrifice.
I also thought today about how in this writing, I keep being driven towards hope. No matter where I start out, the process of writing drives me there. I don’t want to be phony or disingenuous. I don’t have an agenda with my words to come out sounding hopeful- but many times, they do. So I was thinking about how God is called “The Word.” and how with only his spoken words- he created the world. Perhaps there is a creative force in art and words that pushes towards redemption.
At counseling after I described some of the issues I’m currently working through, my counselor said, “That’s the most painful part,” and I wanted to tell her that she’s told me that about every week for different things. I’m wondering when I get to the less painful part? She also looked at me and said, “just raw pain” when I was telling her something else- and I wanted to say, “thanks.” A lot of moments in there just ripe for sarcasm and bitterness – but I resisted the urge because overall- don’t get me wrong, she is helpful and understanding and has wisdom in her eyes. I think it’s just the pain- it seems ridiculous at this point.
In traffic on the West Side Highway on the ride home I remembered another silly little thing- but those are the most precious now certainly. How once we discovered we both used to see little faces in things when we were little- like ceilings or walls or little wooden knots. We were surprised I think that we both saw them. I liked to imagine us as little children-living on different continents- years away from meeting each other- noticing the features of a face on some inanimate space or object. How changed our perception must be now. But possibly, I can catch a glimpse of what you see- like “looking through a glass darkly?”
While we were driving home, we passed one of those little memorials on the side of the road where there must have been an accident and family members have posted a little cross on a sign post or stake. There were flowers and a teddy bear pinned to this one. I wondered who died right there- and if it was a child or if the teddy bear was left by a child for a grownup. I always used to hate those- they made me uncomfortable I think. But in this new perception- those are everywhere…they are invisible but they are everywhere where there has been tragedy or suffering…
They litter the earth- these little memorials of dried flowers and ribbons and candles blown out- reminders of lives lived and lost.
Hope is a form of planning…and vice versa.