Thank you so much for your loving and supportive comments this week. They meant so much to me! And my sister... And my brother... And... I am grateful for you.
As I write posts, I wonder how much detail to go into. How much is too much for my readers? For me? Each day has its share of good and bad, and in that small way they remind me of the long, long days of early parenthood. A glimpse of grace here and there, likely in the form of a toothless smile or the bright sunshine. A battle of wills at naptime. Worries and weariness. Up-down. High-low.
In the most ordinary of days, there are moments of hope, delight and despair.
This is also true for grieving families, as much as any day can be considered ordinary any more.
And we come to dread holidays, like Mother's Day, knowing they'll be harder than most. Which they are.
But what of any given Friday in May? What is that like?
When little boys in baseball uniforms spring up all over town like May flowers? And it's field day at the kids' school and siblings are always on the same teams, but I put Margaret, in her yellow t-shirt, into the car alone? When I pick her up and see Jack's friends, and get my much needed hugs from them, but I realize with shock that they are taller, their voices deeper, and 8th grade graduation is just days away. Eighth grade! When seeing their beautiful moms, my friends, should be a welcome sight, but our relationships are so tinged by loss now that my grief starts to feel like something akin to shame. And I shrink away. And back in the neighborhood, with the bright sun shining down, and the kids playing kickball in the cul de sac, the sounds of laughter bring me no joy? Or a Friday night, spent painting the kitchen, in which I remove our family motto that has guided us all these years, even though it has never been more true than it is today?
And I take down our chalkboard family schedule, preserved on the pantry door, which has been there since the worst week of our lives, a "Thursday" once cheerfully but now ominously blank?
Do I write about these things?
How I thought I was throwing away old plastic bags in the basement and realized, with a sharp intake of breath, that they were Jack's boy scout ponchos? And I marvel at their small size. And remember when rainy days meant fun and joy and celebration. Until they didn't.
And in between all of these things are Margaret's laughter that her team tied for last place. And belting out a new Miranda Lambert song together in the car. And Tim's homemade pizza. And watching "The Middle" on the DVR. And a bird at my office window saying hello.
And going to sleep to the loud booms of thunder and noting it, but not being terrified of it any longer.
If you give a mom a muffin, she can take you through the highs and lows of any "ordinary" day.
Love this video of Jack and Margaret IN the pantry! Less than a minute long, and oh so cute!