I never thought I'd hear myself say this. I can't wait for Mondays to get here. The weekends are the ultimate WORST. They were when Dave's presence was most enjoyed and now they are when his presence is missed the most. Everyone knows it, too. Maci will just start bawling at random times and say, "I love Daddy." Leah will say, "I miss Daddy," or "the only person I like is Daddy," about every hour and Spencer and I will usually have at least one long talk about Dave, heaven and Jesus sometime throughout the weekend. I just kind of cry a lot and talk a lot to whoever is the closest human with functioning ear drums. It seems like a lot of people think the night times are the hardest, but nights don't even hold a candle to the weekends. Dave wasn't nearly as fun, adventurous and helpful when he was asleep, so I don't miss him nearly as much at night as I do during the weekends.
On a typical Saturday morning, I would go for a run, then Dave would go for a run, then I'd have coffee with a friend or go to a baby shower or something like that, while Dave was outside doing some project. One of his last projects was making an outdoor bench out of a crib that was recalled. I mean, where did he come up with these things? While he worked, the kids would make about 100 laps on the driveway with their bikes or create something with the leftover wood. Then we'd eat lunch, go on a hike or go to the park and then gear up for a night with friends. Nothing too crazy, but we loved the weekends!
Last weekend hit so hard, it felt like the news of Dave's death was just as fresh as the day it actually happened. The sting was back. Maybe it was just that I forgot to prepare for the weekend. Or maybe it was another wave of grief that had been gathering speed and force throughout the week and it just so happened that the crest of the wave was starting to fall early Saturday morning.
This was my personal journal from last weekend: "This isn’t getting any easier. It actually feels like it is getting harder. Why is that? The memory is not fading, which is good, but the days of missing him are just piling higher. One after another, I miss him still, than another day, I miss him still, and then another day, I miss him more, then another day, I miss him again. The only thing that would make everything OK again, is for Dave to walk back through the door one day. Could you even imagine? It would reverse it all. Literally, the only person and the only thing that can fix all of this and set everything back on the right track, is for Dave to come back. I’m feeling it more, my kids are feeling it more and the weight of one more day of missing him is making me feel heavy. I don’t feel like I’m gonna throw off these chains. I feel like I might drag them around for quite awhile. "
Right as I wrote the word "wave" I had a flashback of a college trip to Cancun and this wave flashback describes last weekend pretty accurately. This motley crew I was with, was headed for the beach one day. Upon first glance, it seemed like we had hit the beach just right. There was hardly a soul anywhere, which made sense, because it was pretty overcast. As it turned out, nobody was there, because the "Danger - Do Not Swim" flags were out, but we didn't notice them until much later. Anyway, we entered the water with excitement. The waves looked a little unruly, but we didn't sneak into the Sheraton resort for nothing. Perfect for body surfing, thought everybody else. It was my first body surfing experience. The waves would come and everyone glided effortlessly on top of the water. Everybody, but me. My timing must have been a touch off, because I found myself twisting and tumbling in the waves. I vividly remember thinking, "Joni Erickson Tada," over and over. I was at the mercy of the waves and had no control whatsoever over where I was going to land and in what condition. Fortunately, I came out of the waves unscathed, but panicked. I frantically scanned the surface of the ocean to do a head count and asked if everyone was OK. Of course they were. They were all gliding on top of the wave - not pummeled inside of it. These ocean waves were simply not for a terra firma, mountain girl.
So, there is my analogy. Last weekend, I was caught in a wave. I didn't even see it coming. I was tumbling, grappling, trying to get out, but I couldn't. I didn't want to be home, so I was trying to get out by shuttling kids everywhere in a desperate attempt to find someplace that didn't feel so empty without Dave. But no matter where I went, Dave should still be there. I finally just surrendered to the wave and let it toss me around, hoping that I would come out still breathing. I'm still breathing.
This weekend I was turned the other direction. I was watching for the waves. I had a plan. I know that I can't escape the waves and I don't want to escape the waves, but I wasn't sure I could handle another weekend like the last, back to back. I decided that home was not going to be a bad place to be - I need it to be a safe place - not a place to escape. So, in adoption terms, our family just sort of cocooned this weekend. I felt like I needed to reestablish who our family is now and that our home is a cozy place. Friday night, me and my kids just watched movies and went to bed, Saturday we went to a pancake party and then came back home and spent the rest of the day at the park behind our house and playing at home. The kids spent hours making homemade forts. I even asked Spence what he thought about just hanging out at home this weekend. He thoughtfully answered, "It was actually pretty fun."
I know these waves will continue to come, no matter if I am prepared for them or if I am swept off my feet into an innocuous looking swell. I am learning, though, that the most healing way back to terra firma is to allow God to settle my heart. It doesn't mean that I'm not going to find myself in a wave, but if I am looking for Him and grasping His hand, even while getting tossed around, I know that I will land upright on the shore.
Simply put in Psalms 73:26 "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."