Saturday, February 9, 2013
I stood in the shower for a long, long time this morning. Trying to figure out how to put into words the day-to-day war raging in my head. To explain why I can’t seem to handle much more than just ‘existing’. People try to be kind when I tell them I cannot take on anything else at this point, or when I try to tell them I am sad. Sometimes they say the perfunctory responses of how God will see us through, or I just need to pray, or that they will be sure to pray for me. Others will tell us they’re just sure Rob (sometimes referred to as our guardian angel) is looking down and smiling. I have to be honest – I don’t believe in ghosts. I don’t believe that when people die they become angels, or that they can look down (or back, or up, or sideways) to see us. And sometimes those other responses just seem empty and trite. I know you don’t know what to say and that you’re just doing your best to let us know you care – because it’s a lonely, lonely road we’re walking and it’s hard to understand, I thought I would try to give an example you might be able to relate to of the deep grief we face every day.
When Noah was little he once made me a present, for mother’s day or my birthday, out of clay. He worked for weeks on this project at an art class. He was so eager for the day they would bake it, get it back, and paint it. He painted it, purple because he knew it was my favorite. When the day came to bring it home, he carefully wrapped it newspaper and he held onto it tightly on the ride home from art class (he didn’t’ want me to see yet). Walking up our driveway he stumbled and the clay piece dropped and shattered, I never got to see it.
Imagine Noah’s heartbreak – now imagine being his mother in that moment, right there, on the driveway. That fleeting moment of absolute helplessness where nothing I say or do can fix it. I cannot make it better. Because Noah was very young, his mind was soon onto something else and by the end of the week he’d all but forgotten about his creation. Yet, in that that instant, sitting on the pavement with him, my heart was completely broken for him as we sat there, both in tears.
It is like that EVERYDAY for me. Maybe not every second of each day, but at least more than once. I am powerless, defenseless.
Ordering Sarah’s cap and gown this week for her graduation in June was one of those moments. I am so unbelievably proud of my daughter, and I know Rob was, too – She is ready to take this step and God is guiding her to a bright future, I am not sad that she is growing up – but this is the first really big milestone we’re achieving that he should be here for, and isn’t. The first of many that I will carry alone. Not just for Sarah, but for all three of them. I can clap hard enough, cheer loud enough, love big enough, but I’m already so tired, so very tired and it’s only been 4 months. Four months today.