My mama always taught me that happiness is a choice. In turn, I often have counseled young people about the choices they have in front of them. I think even President Lincoln is credited with saying something about being as happy as we choose to be. I still believe that happiness is a choice; I just don't know how to act on it.
Since Friday this post has been wandering around in my head, and I haven't written it; I was hoping something else would come along, a phrase, a picture, a lesson. While love has come my way often in many different forms in 48 hours, the post has not left me.
I am angry. Each day is a new theft, a robbery of what would have been. I can sit and listen to the seemingly incessant stream of consciousness that literally pours itself out of my son for hours. His intellect and humor charming me, entertaining me, astounding me. Then, when he leaves or sleeps all the good evaporates, and I am left with an angry spirit. I didn't just lose Taylor a year ago last July; I lost what would have been today. I lost the phone call or the movie we would have watched. Stolen from me, her voice didn't laugh when I cried while watching "It's a Wonderful Life" for the hundredth time. She didn't cackle when I told her about her brother's egocentric ideas for this year's Christmas card; she didn't share with me her crafting ideas for break; she didn't call; she didn't text; she didn't come home. She isn't going to - and that still literally leaves me on the cold kitchen floor in a pathetic mess she would never recognize.
I expect more out of myself than I am capable of achieving. I keep striving for better and better was July 26, 2014 and everyday that preceded it. It feels like I am watching a movie about someone I used to know. I can't reconcile the present I choose with Wade, and the one I lost with Taylor.
I guess that's why children enter this old world as miracles - the joining and splitting of biological cells that exponentially duplicate creating these unique and beautiful creatures that duplicate a mother's heart as many times as necessary. You see, there is undeserved joy when I sit with Joey's son, when I listen to him connect facts and ideas, explain theories, or pontificate with no real authority at all but with the unchallenged bravado of 17 year old. I recognize pure joy when Wade tries to imitate the country western singers on the radio and his inability to carry a tune plays second to the raw comedic talent he shares. The same humility I knew as Taylor's mom silences my anxious heart as I realize how blessed I am to be his mom.
I feel guilty that it cannot be enough, that I cannot ease the pain that either of my boys must face, guilty that I can't pray enough of the pain away, guilty that I cannot be who my family remembers. And thus, I am left with an angry spirit, a foreigner to this kind of helplessness. Angry, that every day forward, I'll create a Christmas card without her and hang her stocking and the world will have rotated so many times without her.
Oh my - I have struggled with this post, to honestly purge and yet also honestly expose the hope that finds me every day.
I never have a day like anything I have described where someone I love has not reached out to just sit with me. I think creating a child is a miracle; I think it parallels being a child of God. I don't deserve His Love; I never have in truth. I have to tell you that even in an angry, ugly fit, I am never alone. Even if I turn my back or fiercely shake my head, when the fit is over, I am reminded that "his mercies are new every morning."
"The Lord God is my strength. He will walk me through places of trouble and suffering." Habakkuk 3:19
It is likely that I will forget these scriptures tomorrow or the next day and the tide of grief will pull me back out to the deep end of the ocean. What I will be reminded when I get there is -that my God will send a friend, a heart, sometimes a stranger, who will float out there with me.