The last week hasn’t been conducive to thinking about any stuff whatsoever, let alone getting coherent sentences on a page. Instead, life seems to be happening in snippets, some of which I’ve shared below.
Hours in the car, driving, driving, driving, a route I can do in my sleep. It’s not necessary, but the GPS is on so there is visible proof that I am moving forward, making progress, getting closer to the destination. The back seat is full of stuff but empty of someone to share my chips with, to make me laugh, to pant on the back of my neck when I dare to inch the thermostat up to a comfortable temperature. The walks, playing ball, the way Hannah is just so happy all the time, I miss it more than I thought I would.
Doesn’t look like she’s missing me . . .
Little girls in pink and white dresses, faces beaming, innocent and confident in their beauty, so much more so than we bigger girls who spend much more time primping, yet never quite feel beautiful.
Tiny seedlings pushing through the dirt, the combination of seed, soil, water, and sun creating a miracle capable of sustaining life.
Watching Dad and the speech therapist interact, refraining from giving a fist pump of victory when he correctly sorts the hearts in a deck of cards and and is able tell the correct meaning of various idioms. Surprised by how much I want him to succeed, amused by his sarcasm, the way he uses it to cope with all the things over which he has no control.
Applying mascara, I contemplate which takes more energy, faking fine or being real. When I look into my own eyes, I see no answer there. Seems prudent to stick with faking fine.
A co-worker shares that his father is dying of cancer after being in remission for several years. He smiles and empathizes with me, with all of us whose parents are aging, whose lives keep changing.
My efforts at helping are met with anger and harsh words. A short list of my infractions is delivered. Do better I must, Yoda’s voice says in my head, an attempt at comic relief to hide the hurt I feel and the bewilderment about how I’ve lost my voice in this relationship.
Seeking distraction in a game of Scrabble, I accidentally choose random opponent instead of playing against the computer. Despite a rack full of vowels, I’m in the lead. Apparently too much time goes by before I get back to the game and I get a ‘nudge’ from Random Opponent 9587. Really, a nudge? Spurred on by my own immaturity, I vow to win by an obscene margin. Game on!
Yes, that’s my bingo
While reading about lazy pirates who don’t do anything, he gently rubs my hand. For the last year he’s talked about my hands a lot, wanting to know if they look the way they do because I’m old. Yes, I tell him, that’s why they look this way. And I love that he’s perfectly okay with it.
Sharing a room with Silverstein, a much loved but very sick cat. Sleep eludes me with him by my side, his paws kneading me, his too sharp claws catching on my flannel pajamas. I know – I know – that cats will purr in distress, but with each purr I convince myself that he is getting better, he’s going to make it. “Get well,” I whisper, “I am over my limit on the number of sad things I can endure right now, please get well.”
Playing outside with the grandkids, pushing them on the swings, helping them load buckets of dirt into dump trucks, burying treasure and marking it with an ‘X.’ Holding their hands while they play the dangerous game of running down the slide. The two-year-old birthday girl bursting into tears when I say it’s time to go inside.
Before the meltdown
Lying awake, listening to the thunder, watching the lightening illuminate the room. A thunderstorm in March in Michigan?
No point in crying, it doesn’t help, the stuff that doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. As I think about how much I hate that saying, I notice that my cheeks are wet, tears slipping down without my permission.
Still awake at 2:00 am I quietly sing, Come, Lord Jesus, Come, then stop when I remember how few people I’ve shared the good news with, how much I suck at evangelizing. It would be selfish of me to hope for Jesus to come now and make everything right when there’s still work to do here on earth. I switch to singing Amazing Grace and finally sleep comes.