I have a root canal this morning. I am not looking forward to it. It's not the experience of it as much as the anticipation. My stomach is in knots and I just have been feeling "off" the past couple of days anyway. It doesn't make a pretty picture.
I am lying in bed (temporarily). I've already been up. Mike got the kids dressed and I helped with breakfast preparations and packing lunches. Medicine dispersed. Notes to teachers written. Kids out the door. I cleaned the kitchen. Unloading dishes and then loading. Wiping down counters and spills and crumbs. Pushing chairs back in. Straightening odds and ends. I even cleaned out the coffee pot twice. with hot water and vinegar. So I'm lying in bed now and I don't want to get up.
I don't want to face the day. I don't want to get numb and hear drills. I don't want to move a muscle. I'm tired and achey and sad.
March is coming upon me like a sad procession. Like a bleak tolling of bells. Not the jovial bells or the twinkling sweet reminders of faithfulness but the low toll of sobriety. Somber. Solemn. Sorrowful. Gong. Gong. Gong.
I want to shake it off. I want to run away from it. I hate the way it's been creeping up on me and slowly overtaken and shadowed me. And I give it to God. All my thoughts. My sorrows. My hurts. My anger. My disappointments.
I long for a conversation with my sister who has passed from this world to the next. Sometimes it feels like she never even existed. There's a sense of guilt and struggle when I try to remember specific details. Somethings I can rattle off perfectly like a mantra. Things she liked or disliked. But then other things have slipped my mind almost entirely. I feel like I betray her when I forget. I feel like she's less of my sister when I don't remember. But I know that's not how she wants me to live and more importantly I know that's not how God wants me to live.
I know she's cheering me on. She's a spectator of this race called "my life". I know she sees in full what I can only see dimly and sometimes barely and other times not at all.
and yet, there are times where grief hits me still so hard, even almost 9 years later, like I've been sucker punched. I cried and I cried in the car yesterday. Driving and crying aren't always the best idea but sometimes you can't help it when they intersect.
And I was sad. And my heart ached. I couldn't be with my sister so I did one of the next best things. I went to a friend's house and sat with her. Surrounded by her sweet crazy children. I felt less alone. I felt I was in the presence of another sister. Not one tied to me by blood and by childhood memories but one still connected to me through love and through shedding of tears and through hearing each other's broken hearts. I fell into her world for a bit and was reminded that I'm not crazy for thinking mothering is hard. Because it is. And it's a struggle. And none of us do it perfectly as much as we'd sometimes like to. And sometimes it's grinding and crushing and your patience is worn so thin. And sometimes when you see sweet smiles and hear their beautiful laugh you almost wonder how it could be such a burden that it was just moments ago.
And I'm blessed with a husband who understands when I'm sad that I don't always make sense. I'm not always logical or coherent and then he tries to be more gentle with me. And more kind. And tries to cheer me up. And gives me good things like sweet reminders that it's going to be okay. and that he loves me anyway. And to make sure I eat so that my blood sugar doesn't drop and make me more crazy.
And we sit and have a spontaneous cup of coffee together between my appointment and the next and his break at one work place before the next. And he holds my hand. And my tears pour down my face. And I talk about all the things that feel crushing right now. Like appointments with our kids teachers and root canals and a room that has to be prepared for painting and how I need to pack for my retreat this week-end and how I have yet to even start my Bible study for this week.
And he encourages me to breathe. And somehow I do. I keep breathing. And he encourages me to press into God.
God is the only One who sustains me. He is what I need. He is what I truly long and ache for. I want things to be made right in this world. That's impossible apart from Him. He is going to make all things new... but we're not quite there yet.
Jesus, please be enough for me. You have overcome this world. Help me to overcome my fear and my anxiety. Thank you for your love. Thank you for paying the price for my sin. Thank you for dying and rising again and giving me hope. And thank you for caring for me in the midst of my sorrow. Thank you that you strengthen and change me. Make me more into your image.