We have our moments, our rituals. Wednesday night is date night - whether we actually go out or just send the kids upstairs at 9 and cuddle in our chair - we have always had a date. As a part of that and almost any other day, we are interested in each other's lives. So one or both of us will ask the other one about the day.
"How was your day?"
We have a code for when we don't want to talk, for when we don't want to relive the drama and then we have nights we actually answer.
Joe: "How was your day?"
Me: "I was productive. I could concentrate and remember and act on logical thoughts and decisions. I made good decisions today."
My best friend, Julie, has a daughter, Riley. Riley and her younger sister went to Kenya on a mission trip. On her first day back in the country, after a 13 plus hour trip home, Riley came to UHS to see me and tell me about Kenya.
"Mammawitch- Are you at work today? Can I come see you?"
After two hours of sleep, this stunning brunette who looks more like a Native American princess than anything I have ever seen, spends an hour with me. She can't stop talking about the joy of the children in Kenya, the trash with which they live, and her absolute resolve to share the gospel.
I had to keep trying to reconnect to the context of the conversation because Riley stunned me with her resolve to walk the streets of Kenya and share her faith.
Trust without borders...
Hours into our date tonight, I asked Joey for permission to say something out loud.
I restated what was good about today, naming my gratitude for it - the clarity of thought, the ability to concentrate, the gift of a memory that served a school that I love, a mission to which I am committed - and then I said this:
"I walked back in from the mailbox and looked at Taylor's picture and immediately the question sears my brain, 'How could you have such a normal day without her?' my voice reducing to a whisper and trailing off.
My over-grown eighth grader reached for my knee with the strength of his right hand and answered,
"I think the same thing, and then I think because she wouldn't accept anything less. No excuses. She never accepted excuses."
I added: "It's never okay to drop your flyer - not ever. My flyer will never hit the ground." It's a code she lived by not only in cheerleading, but also in life. If you were her responsibility, you would never fall as long as she was in place to catch you.
Joey added, "It's not okay. She wants it this way."
"Only because she learned that from you, Joey." I answered, my voice betraying me.
I am thankful for a place to name my fears and feelings and for friends and strangers who pray as a result. As I replayed these events over the last two days in my mind on our way home tonight, I heard lines from a song but couldn't remember the title of the song. or the chorus - only these lines.....
"Someone's singing, lord....
Someone's crying, lord....
Someone's praying, lord..."
I had to google it to finish the song.
It's "Kumbaya" by Peter, Paul and Mary. It's origin is on the islands of South Carolina at the turn of the twentieth century. Sung in Gullah, a Creole language, Kumbaya means - Come by here, my Lord.
Grateful that you cry with us
Grateful that you pray
Grateful that the Lord comes when you do.