Over and over the past week, I have repeated the line that Annie says in the middle of this clip. "WHAT IS HAPPENING?????"
Last week was going to be the first week that all of my kids were going to be in school for three whole, entire mornings. Then the heavens opened up, the rains came down, the floods came up and school was cancelled for two, long, restless days. While it looks like we might actually make it an entire week with a steady schedule, my schedule of tears has taken a bit of an unpredictable turn.
It has been awhile since I have lingered on the cusp of tears for multiple days in a row, but that is where I have found myself lately. For a good couple of months I have not given myself over to a big, fat, loud, giant, week two cry, but last Wednesday night, I cried so hard that I sounded a little like a teenage boy with a crackling voice for the next couple of days. I'll get back to that story in a bit, though.
I really have no idea why I am so delicate lately??? Maybe it's normal for emotions to run high around the 9th month? I know they did when I was pregnant. Maybe this just keeps happening for a few years where you swing back into some serious grief for a little bit. Maybe it's adjusting to the rhythms of a new season without him, yet again. Maybe it is going to Spencer's school and seeing all the dads there and feeling so sad for my kids. I don't totally know, but it has been interesting to find myself back here, with tears that swell so so easily.
Even just an hour ago, I was looking through some mail and a catalog for Christmas piano music was in the mix. Tears. Everything, including this Alfred Music Christmas pamplet, circles back to Dave, lately. Dave died less than a week after my Christmas piano recital and I can remember two things about it. First, how he was so proud of me (not for being a good piano teacher, but for being a good foosball player) and second, I remember vividly thinking that I couldn't even pull off a piano recital without his help. I had rented a digital piano, so I could hold the recital upstairs in my house. He went across town to get the piano and single handedly loaded it in and out of the 4Runner. Then for the few days between the recital and his death he seriously spent countless hours trying to learn, "Nothing Else Matters," by Metallica, off of a YouTube video, even though he could barely play Hot Cross Buns. How cute is that?
Back to last Wednesday night. Well, let's go back even further. My birthday was on September 8th. It was really quite a great birthday for a girl who has had some not so great birthdays. Like the time when I got a bad rug burn in P.E. on my birthday. Or when I first started teaching and my birthday fell on this awful back to school night, where this special parent was claiming that I would accept bribes for good grades, for crying out loud. This birthday was totally opposite of that. It was really a great birthday. I was on an amazing women's retreat, that was filled with some of my funniest friends, stretches of quiet, and some serious power of the Holy Spirit and I'm not even exaggerating. The entire weekend I didn't even feel that underlying Dave sadness that often accompanies even the best of times. It was a tremendously special weekend that I'll never forget.
Anywho, one of my gifts for my birthday was receiving 39 more meals. One for each year of my life. There could be no greater earthly gift. Last Wednesday, I received my first birthday meal. I actually set the table, got their plates completely ready before they sat down, and drinks were even on the table before dinner was over. We were having a real, sit down meal, which is really the gift of these dinners. Over the course of noodle slurping and giggling, everyone shared their favorite part of school that day. In the middle of that conversation, the stark reality that Dave is STILL never coming back and will still never sit around our table EVER EVER again, hit me in a way that I haven't felt in many months. It's like I am relearning it all over again. What in the world?
We finished dinner and I got the kids in bed and I watched some Modern Family. Typically, once the TV is on, I'm done for the evening, but I decided to actually go all the way downstairs to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer, so that I wouldn't have to rewash them for a third time. While I was down there, I saw a stack of Dave's shirts in the corner. I decided to put them in a box that was about 4 feet away that also had some of Dave's clothes in it. I was in pure housekeeping form and wasn't feeling emotional at all, but as soon as I picked up my favorite T-shirt that he got in Cambodia, I was a goner. That is when my week two crying began. I slouched into the guest bedroom and sunk into the bed and cried as hard as I possibly could. The rain was so loud that I knew the kids wouldn't be able to hear my scary cry. In between sobs, I heard a trickle of water. I thought to myself that I couldn't believe that you could hear the water in the pipes so well in the guest bedroom. Then I cried some more and then heard some more trickling water. I'm NEVER in the guest bedroom, so I just thought maybe I didn't know the sounds in there. I finally ended my crying spell and I headed out the door. However, I wanted to get to the bottom of the trickling noise. I turned around and saw the window well full of water and tons of water just spilling in. Next thing you know, I'm outside with Dave's headlamp, his rain jacket, his wet vac, and crazy monsoon rains. Again, what in the world? Where was Dave?
These are the times that he would leap into action. I simply vacuumed out the water from the window well only to find a pool of water in the basement when I got up at 5:00 to check it. He would have rerouted the faulty gutter using leftover parts of a broken sewing machine. He was amazing like that and those of you who knew him probably have seen him in MacGyver action at some point.
Even though Dave wasn't there to fix the problem, something sweet happened in the midst of all of this. (If you are prone to think that people are crazy, then skip this section, because some of you will think I am crazy). I think that the Holy Spirit (and Dave if that is not blasphemous to say) brought me down to the guest room. God knew that I needed to know that my basement was flooding. He could have stopped it, but He didn't. However, He did let me know that, AGAIN, he sees me and he sees my every situation. Not just the big ones, but all the little ones, too. God is close to the widow and for that I could not be more thankful.
Interestingly enough, I wrote almost this entire post last night and then had coffee with a dear friend who was widowed three years ago and has been a vital part of helping to steer me on a healthy grief path. When I told her this morning that I don't know what is happening and that I feel like the hurt is fresh all over again, she said that month nine was her hardest month and same with another friend of hers. Crazy, huh? I feel so much better knowing that I'm not regressing, but that for some reason, it seems to be a new step into reality and out of shock and survival. Just don't be surprised if I cry super easily over the next few months as we head into the holidays and the anniversary of Dave's death. Fortunately, she said that I'm not going backwards and that it will get better. So, y'all, bear with me for the next few months, OK?
|The first day of school. (Spencer's picture is MIA)|