I don't want to go back to the same exact way that things were before, because if everything were exactly the same, but Dave is not here, how could life ever be as good as it was before? It proves to be a tricky balance, though. It is difficult to provide the familiar routines that my kids need, in order to feel safe, while trying to find things that make our lives different AND NEW.
"NEW" is a theme that has been pulsing through me lately. N-E-W. Such a simple word. Such a big theme. Make no mistake - I treasure the old. I am not embarrassed to say that I continue to weep for the old. I'd grab it back if given even the tiniest chance. But for now, some of what stirs me, is the new. A new hairstyle. Trying to learn how to play the guitar. A new more manageable pop-up. New workout routines. New songs on my playlist. New bedtime routines, involving the new skill of playing the guitar. (My kids are a pretty easy crowd, which I appreciate). And new conversations . . . which brings me to this little comedic anecdote.
Nobody freak out here. I'm not trying to date anybody here. There is my disclaimer. Anywho . . . Six weeks ago I stopped in to Panera and there was this relatively, very cute guy behind the counter. We chatted it up for a few minutes and then my girlfriends and I sat down to eat, and made mention of the cute guy. Tonight, I was at the same Panera and there was Matthew, behind the counter. He said, "Holly, where have you been?" I, of course, turned red, in true Bonnell fashion and proceeded to have a flashback of me in high school, when I called a guy for the very first time. Even with a prepared notecard in hand that night, I was able to say some pretty awkward things. Like when he said, "Well, thanks for calling," and I replied, "NO - thank you!" What?????? I'm still embarrassed about that.
Back to tonight, I made my way to the front of the line where I reconnected with a 24 year old former 7th grade student of mine, which is always fun. I got my Fuji Apple Salad and sat down. Soon, Matthew and I had a little conversation. Out of that conversation, I learned that he played the snare drum for 2 weeks, he has a sister named Paula who is not a whiz in the kitchen like he is, he recently hiked Section 16 and loves to interact with people. He learned about me, that I teach piano, I'm old enough to have taught his friend 7th grade geography 12 years ago, I can't cook and my big night on the town was Ladies Bible Study. Not exactly a resume you want to hand out to cute 32 year old guys. I was trying to stay relatively cool, but I was laughing so hard inside at how I am evidently NOT cool when talking to guys, now. For the 10 years that Dave and I were together, I never had any trouble talking to guys. Now, it is brand new territory and it shows. It is ridiculous and dare I say, fun. Well, maybe not fun, but fun-ny.
My point in all of this is that there is something exciting about the new, even in middle of grief. I certainly don't want everything to be new, but I definitely don't want everything to be the same as before, either.
What will God make new, out of all of this devastation? I know He will. I've already seen God bring to life newness from Spencer's heart, as I have written earlier. I am waiting expectantly to see what sort of "new" God brings to Leah, Maci, Spencer and me. I just have to really try hard to save some space for the new. It's been hard to keep all the old stuff from settling back in to every free moment. One of my all time favorite verses is Lamentations 3:22-23 and it speaks to new. "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness."