Four years ago today, I stood in my kitchen while my girls insisted that they could see Jesus in the kitchen. More specifically that they could see him standing behind me, with his hands on my shoulders. I remember thinking, "My life is fine right now. What a weird time for them to see Jesus in my kitchen."
Four years ago from tonight my life was normal. As normal as life could be. A cute husband with a new position at work, three kids, and Christmas coming in a few days. Not a day since then has felt normal. Not one single day. At least, I don’t think so. Every day since then has felt like I was walking with one foot on a railroad track and one foot on the ground. Like I’m tilted. Or that I’m hobbling. Nothing is smooth or glidy about life, ever since Dave died. I’m on a track and it’s not like it’s the wrong track, I suppose, but I just can’t get upright, entirely. I can’t make it feel unbumpy. I can’t get in the groove of it.
Tonight, I sat in Spencer’s room as we watched a couple videos of Dave with tears streaming down both of our faces. Normally, I have something to say. I think of something. I ask if he want to read the Bible. Or I remember something from a sermon. But tonight. . . .I had nothing. I just stared at him and cried and said, “I don’t know what to say.” “Sorry your dad died.” I just sat there and cried. He just sat there and cried. One video had Dave’s voice in it. More tears. Spencer said, “It’s just been so long since I heard his voice.” “I wish he didn’t die.”
Maybe a better analogy is that I’m wearing a pair of glasses, but they have been knocked a little sideways on my face and I just can’t quite see straight. I can’t quite get back to normal vision. No matter what I try, the vision just won’t go back to normal. Supposedly, the new vision is something that can be used by God, but I can’t see straight enough to see what that is supposed to look like.
Leah, even with the flu, sees the sadness and just tries her best to lighten the mood. For a little girl that can throw down a pout at the slightest infraction, she is a the queen of making sure nobody is emotionally down. She is very crafty at what she does.
Tomorrow is the longest night in the year. That is so true on so many fronts. It feels so dark, for so long. I hate it.
I have that feeling again, that my body was not meant to know how to deal with death. This was not part of what we were created for and we were not created to do death well, or pain free, or easily or gracefully. We were not created to be broken.
I miss Dave. I just miss him. I never dreamt that four years later, it could still feel so yesterday. So many good things have happened since that day. A million laughs, hundreds of sunny days, the best friends in the entire world, a new marriage that is growing into something healing and unique and strong, a desperate dependence on God. However, through thousands of days and millions of good things, there is still a sting of death that I thought maybe I would be above. I thought I wouldn’t have to feel this forever. And maybe I won’t? Maybe that sting will continue to lessen, but maybe it won’t.
I’m surprised on days like this, how I consciously think to myself, “How can I position my thoughts, so that I don’t have to feel this kind of pain?” Then I realize it’s no use and so I just cry a little more.
Tomorrow, I’ll wake up and know just how dramatic I was tonight.I'll probably try to delete this. I’ll go to the North Pole and remember how Dave was so childlike at this place when he finally got to take Spencer and Leah there for the first time. And I’ll remember that God is with us. Emmanuel! And the days will go on. The good and the bad and Jesus will continue to challenge me with his desire for my life to be abundant and full.