I feel strongly. With every cell and through every pore and arm hair, especially the big emotions like joy and sadness. Sadness which speeds right along to anger many times, anger being my default, though I am working on slowing down this synapse.
So when I hear about others’ milestones like getting married or expecting a precious baby, I get so thrilled, even for strangers. I’ve hugged many upon getting wind of their news, and walked away wondering if I even knew their last names. Fine, first names.
The hope of a new beginning. The big milestones you’ve always imagined and wondered about (though I don’t think I ever dreamt about walking down the aisle, other than wondering who the dude at the end would be).
I remember attending many weddings in my 20s. The night before each wedding, I would feel my stomach doing somersaults, wondering how the bride could possibly go to bed before such a big life event.
This means I also feel the dark stuff with full force. When I heard about our friends’ son’s/Micah’s little buddy’s diagnosis and ensuing battle for his health, it was something that shook me to the core.
And please, I hesitated to write about any of this as I know FULLY well that this ain’t MY story, MY pain. Actually, ever since I heard about the hospitalization, I didn’t want to write any more.
Even as a mere outsider looking in, trying to walk alongside our beloved friends as best as I know how, everything else seemed pointless. Beyond stupid. Why bother?
How can I write trifling status updates on Facebook per usual when someone I know beyond acquaintanceship is going through something so tough? Am I gonna blog about my still normal life? Why? How?
It’s not the type of news I can hear and keep it moving.
Then I heard of more stories of suffering within the past month. All involving young boys ages five or younger.
Of course, not the first time I heard of suffering – just turn on the news. But something about this time, hitting a friend so suddenly, as the rest of us prepare for the summer and sort out preschool plans.
It is some bullshit.
I know that life and love, every good and perfect gift, comes from You, Lord. They are just that. Gifts. We are not entitled to any of it, but come now. When the health of a little one is involved, I can’t help but cry out to the heavens with my fists clenched.
“O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”
Psalm 34:8 (NASB)
Lord, I’m having an Israelite in the wilderness moment but it’s hard to see your goodness and wisdom right now. I’m sorry that I look at You with suspicious eyes.
I’m also feeling like a fat roasted luau pig being able to enjoy this glorious weather we’d been longing for, tagging along on my firstborn’s first real fieldtrip, while my friend’s family will be in the hospital for at least a few more weeks, then figuring out their new normal.
I take it to another level by looking at all of us with “normal” problems as fat luau pigs even though I know I shouldn’t compare. By the way, I don’t know why I keep thinking of fat roasted luau pigs as the image for spoiled, without something real to worry about.
But I find myself doing it, judging any complaints that still fall in the realm of minor. “Really? You complaining again about parking issues? That your child won’t sleep well? OUR FRIEND IS IN THE HOSPITAL and probably wishing for these mundane problems!”
Or people who say bonehead things, speaking too assuredly when they haven’t walked through the same trial.
God has never ever promised us a healthy, wealthy life, free from pain. But I guess unbeknownst to me, I’ve been banking on it for me and my loved ones, though it makes no sense at all and it is downright entitled thinking on my part.
Kevin urged me to write again. So I’m here, clumsily testing out the waters again on my tiny blog.
Lord, can You please allow us to taste and see that You are Good?
‘Preciate this one
I can’t imagine what your friend is going through, but you need to walk around with what I call a “veil of denial” about death and illness. It’s good that you have a healthy veil of denial because if we all walked around with the idea that sickness and death were right around the corner, no one would do anything, ever. The awful thing that befell your friend lifted your veil for a minute but, you can only be your strongest self and best wife and mommy if you worry about the small things in life and give attention to the things that piss you off, like parking and all the annoying mundane hurdles. We are blessed to have those be our biggest problems mostly, but we’re also blessed to have that veil of denial and be able to be pissed off about them and still care about the health and well-being of all of our loved ones, dear friends included. Your friend is in my thoughts. Be strong, worry about parking and laundry and all the great annoying things in life. It will make you a good friend.
Anonymous! This was one of my fave comments ever! Thoughtful, timely, well-said. Thanks so much for not only reading but commenting. I had two guesses as to who you were but I was wrong. Thanks again – I read this comment over and over again!