Dan's alarm clock woke me up this morning. Early. And loud. Louder, truly, than during the week because for some reason he had changed it from the regular "beep" that is maddening to a "radio" setting. Honestly, I didn't even know that his alarm clock had a radio on it. But it was LOUD. And it was early. And I was frustrated.
The last few weeks have been rough- to say the least- for our family. I have been drowning a bit- and can admit that now as I am coming out of that space. Several weeks ago it became apparent that something big was going to change in my beloved job. I was in regular contact with our board chair- nothing was a surprise for me- but my heart has been broken as we have put The Abraham Project on hold for the upcoming year. I don't know if down the road it will rebirth itself as something new or not. But as of now, this program I have fallen head over heels in love with has come to an end.
At the beginning of those weeks of conversations about closing it down, I'll admit that I took part of it personally. Then I began to see that parts that were outside of my control and then my heart was able to look more clearly at what truth was already there- that to all things, there is a season.
Unfortunately, during the same time this was all going down, it hit Elizabeth for the first time that her Mimi wouldn't be there for her 5th grade graduation. This was the first "big" event that Mimi hasn't been there for, and it stirred up in both of us the realization that this is what a future without her looks like.
And to create the perfect storm, after going through 4 pregnancies, 1 birth, and loads of issues along the way, we determined that I need some minor surgical help to take care of parts of my body that weren't "cooperating" with what was normally expected of them.
The week of Elizabeth's graduation is when we announced TAP was closing and when I got the call to schedule my surgery. Of course it was.
Now, one week post-surgery, I'm doing well, Elizabeth is fine (and is excited to be one of the Cats today in Seussical the Musical!), and plans are coming right along to make our TAP closure smooth. All of that is said with no tears- the storm has happened and I am safely to the shore.
Back to this morning: that damn alarm clock.
Dan and I were hosted for a delightful dinner party last night. There was great conversation, amazing food and wine, and it was the first time I'd put on "real clothes" in a week. (I came downstairs and both girls ooohed and aaaahed... maybe a week in PJs is more than they're used to for me? Let's be honest... probably not.) We got in late and both girls were awake. Julianna took more convincing than E that it was time to sleep, so I was grateful we had nothing early on our Saturday morning agenda.
Until that damn alarm.
Frustrated and awake, I started catching up on social media. So many pictures of vacations and exciting things. So many political and painful posts. And then I saw it: a sweet woman I had the privilege of hanging out with last fall during Medicine and Ministry had died. When we hung out in November, I had absolutely no idea that she was unwell. And yet, today she is gone. It literally took my breath away.
From our brief time together here's what I know about her life: she loved her husband. She loved her job. She loved her daughter. She made it a point to maintain friendships she had from years past (I happen to be mutual friends with two of them!). She was fun and wise and calm and a delight to be with. And now, she is gone.
Our family has gotten in the habit of watching James Cordon's Carpool Karaoke together. This one brought us all to tears. I told Dan that if I were famous, I think I would want to be like Paul McCartney. I get the feeling that he enjoyed this day- bringing joy to everyone he interacted with. James Cordon does it too- he makes people light up around him. I want that. Dan, being the good doting husband taking care of his post-break down wife, encouraged me that on some level I do that now... but oh, to be able to say that across the board. I want to bring people joy and make them light up. Polly did that for me.
Yes, there will be job losses. There will be bug bites like the ones on my elbow (!!) that are currently making me bonkers. There will be events where loved ones aren't there. There will be surgeries that bring out our anxiety. There will be alarm clocks that ruin good sleep on the one morning you plan to sleep in. But there will also be Pollys. And Pauls. And Jameses. And joy.
Dan and I are heading off to our own version of summer camp after we drop of the girls at theirs on Sunday. We are indulging in seeing a couple Broadway shows and going to the concert of my favorite band. All of those events were decided before we knew that I would be 10 days post-op. Rather than let my physical limitations ruin our trip, we've just altered our schedule and planned more down time. We're choosing joy.
Here's to the people around you who bring you light. The ones who bring you meals for your family. The ones who swoop in and send a card at the perfect moment. The ones who make you laugh even when it hurts. The ones who serve good wine. The ones who send you silly gifts. The ones who constantly play Words with Friends with you while you're recovering. The ones who recommend new shows to watch. The ones who hold your hand. The ones who bring you joy.
May we all know those kind of people... and more importantly... may we try to be those kind of people.
And may we always remember to turn off our alarm clocks on Friday night.
Rest in the light of joy and peace, sweet Polly.