Last year around this time the calendar looked like this. And those were just the highlights. There was also the new job driving a school bus, and her Dad. Now her Dad is gone and her Mom is doing well in an assisted living community where half the time she thinks she is there to help out. Which probably makes her feel better about being there which is fine. And school is out for the summer.
As she looked at that calendar, she said, “No wonder I felt stressed.” I said, “It’s amazing you didn’t have a nervous breakdown.” She said, “I think maybe I did.”
It’s hard to know what to do when you have had a million things to do all at once and all of a sudden you don’t.
On the way to work this morning, I was surprised by the emotion that surged when the first notes of Ludwig van Beethoven’s – Fur Elise were played. If you don’t know it by the title, don’t worry neither did I. But when I heard the familiar tune I wasn’t prepared for the tears that swam in my eyes as I listened.
It reminded me of the time we went to the art exhibit and I paused in front of El Greco’s St. Peter in Tears, shell-shocked with emotion. I wasn’t prepared for the depth of sorrow I saw depicted in those eyes. From then on, I totally understood that seeing a Masterpiece in person is a form of worship not to the person who painted it, but to God himself for giving a gift of that magnitude.
What is it about true art, true beauty, that brings out emotions you didn’t even know were there? It makes us think of something beyond ourselves, something bigger which is truly and wholly good.
When emotions are held at bay for so long, sometimes you forget how to let them out but they come out anyway.
In five days we will load up the motor home and drive to California, unencumbered by anything. It’s been a long time.
In five days, I will get to see my Mom and hug her and make her feel like for a few days everything will be okay. I will clean up messes for her since no one ever does that, and I will cook and clean a bit for her, and it will make me feel good to do it.
I will hug my Dad and pray for his eyes, and hug him too. And hopefully we will walk the nature trail together.
And I will eat smushed up rainbow cake that Lauryn will more than likely want me to see first thing. I will savor every bite. I will savor every minute with her, swimming, playing, and having a tea party with her babies. I will hug my brother and we will laugh together and hopefully we will all forget our collective stress for a while and just enjoy being together.
And I will, when I get there, dip my feet in the ocean no matter how cold it is and feel sand under my toes and feel ocean waves wash over my soul again. And eat lots of seafood. I will greet all these things as one greets a very old familiar friend. Elaine and I will walk on the beach and savor a victory knowing that because in Him, we have it. In Him, all things are held together.
I will try my best to put my natural state of anxiety behind me this week and look forward to the journey. Because that’s half the fun.