If you would have asked me eleven or more days ago, where would you be, 10 days after your husband died, I would have said, “In my bed, under my covers, with 10,000 soaked tissues adorning the floor.” But where I found myself today, was at Chuck E Cheese. Seems impossible, doesn’t it? The world has stopped for me, but as for my kids, my friends and family, the world has continued at varying paces and I’m trying to be present, knowing way way way to well that each day is not a guarantee. So, I hand over another token and trade 10 dollars worth of tickets for a mini box of pink Nerds.
The days keep coming, which means that birthday’s still come, and today happens to be Maci’s Birthday. Our sweet Maci didn’t even get to celebrate one birthday with Dave, let alone any father ever. It feels so unfair. I guess that is why I am still trying so hard to make this day special, or at least normal. Let me say that one more time. "My people" are trying so hard to make it special and I am just trying to show up. We had originally decided that we would celebrate it on April 22nd, which is her Ethiopian birthday, however, that is also Dave’s birthday. So, I made a decision to go ahead and celebrate Maci’s birthday today, so that we can celebrate Dave’s birthday each year on the 22nd of April. By the way, I knew I was destined to marry him, because I love 2’s and 4’s. He was born on my favorite date on the calendar.
Back to Chuck E Cheese. I am struck repeatedly with three thoughts while I’m there. First, “How am I here, doing this? How am I actually able to pile the kids in, drive over there (with some help), and do what I would do on any other day?” The second thought was, “People keep walking by me, crossing my path, exchanging words, but they have no idea what I am in the middle of.” I want them all to know. I want people to hurt with me, even if they are strangers. I want special treatment, but I really don’t. The third reoccurring thought is probably the same as everyone else there, which is, “I hope someone sprays a little Clorox on these surfaces from time to time. That third thought comes with a little relief as I realize I have some normal Holly thoughts peeking through.
I realize that many of my thoughts and my talk has been aimed toward the supernatural and towards Jesus and my faith, but today I just want to float in His grace as someone suggested. I don’t necessarily want to think about it or try to figure it out. I just want it. I want enough grace to go to Chuck E Cheese or maybe I should say more than the usual amount of grace it takes to go there even under normal circumstances.
In a few minutes I’ll be heading out to retrieve my son from a friends house, and stop in for a little New Year’s Eve celebration. Ten days in, and I am facing my second major holiday without Dave. I have cried and cried and cried this afternoon over what I am sure to feel while I am there - that Dave is GONE. I hate it. I hate it.
Just a few more hours of floating in His grace and I will have made it through another day and another event. I want to hurry through these milestones if you can’t tell, but I know there is no rushing - only floating.