Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Brokenness and Band-aids

our lovely view on that March weekend
6 months ago *right now*, I was sitting in the mountains of Georgia, enjoying having some girl-time with a dear friend, breathing easier- spiritually- than I had in months.  I had spent the day before reading the words of Hosea... and I woke up restored.

I've written what the next week was like here... it breaks my heart to even see that post again.  It still feels so... well... new.

At the retreat that weekend, I attended a "Date with God" session lead by the sweet woman who had prompted me to read Hosea.  We went from station to station experiencing different mediums through which to connect with God. One of them was a place where you would write a prayer request on a Post-it, place it on the wall, then read the others' requests and pray for them.  My Post-it said "broken."  That weekend, you'll remember, was when we had just been turned down for Foster Care.  In addition to that, I was grieving my best friend's move to Phoenix, and still wrestling with Sweet Leah's leukemia. I truly felt "broken."  In a moment of restoration, I looked at those Post-its as they were affixed later to a cross and felt the hand of God remind me that HE would heal me... no one or nothing else would do.

Our Wailing Wall... Heal us, Lord.
Oh, the irony of the brokenness I felt then.  I didn't know that mere hours later, I would find out my Daddy had died.  I didn't know that 6 weeks after that we would lose my friend Geoff.  I didn't know that 3 months later we would lose my friend Aaron.

Grief upon grief leaves one feeling beyond broken.  It leaves you feeling just plain wrecked.

Yesterday happened to be my Daddy's birthday.  He would have been 70.  From the moment my feet hit the ground yesterday morning, my wrecked-self grieved.  I sobbed in ways I haven't allowed myself to in quite some time.  I also had lots of funny internal-dialog throughout the day imagining what Daddy would say to me if I shared with him my stories.  I wanted to tell him how much I love mowing the yard with his lawn mower.  I wanted to tell him how E asked Dan why he said "dammit" this weekend. (He didn't, btw, he said "hammock"... but hearing my little one say "Why'd you say 'dammit', Daddy?" was a moment that Dadaw would have loved.)  I wanted to talk to him about how hard things are right now and have him tell me what to do.  I wanted to ask him his recipe for Country Style Steak, and then later call him to tell him that Paula Deen's worked out just fine.

Not to sound like a broken record, people... but I just miss my Daddy.

In ways I never imagined.

I think I used to watch people who had lost a parent and think, "Gosh, that must be sad," but didn't understand. I didn't get that it would be a daily ache.  A daily burden.  That every experience- good or bad- would be filtered through the lens of not having your Big Person to share it with.  And in my crazy, jacked up life... I need my Big Person.

Slowly over these last 6 months, there have been moments when my broken heart begins to heal.  Unlike the picture, my heart hasn't been torn straight down the middle.  It's been shattered into millions of pieces, each requiring their own Band-aid.  And the Band-aids are beautiful as they come!  They show up in the form of People Puppy Chow, or coffee mugs, or walks on the Greenway, or phone calls, or verses about "doing good", or comments on Facebook, or well-timed flowers, or bottles of wine, or Stan-like jokes, or leaves changing color, or looking at old pictures, or salted caramel, or a compliment, or a hug, or Country Style Steak, or even through tears.

The hard part of the last 6 months is that sometimes the Band-aids come off.  Sometimes they are ripped off... sometimes they just fall off in the bathtub.  And through it all, it shouldn't surprise me that my encouragement comes from... well... Hosea.

“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
    but he will heal us;
he has injured us
    but he will bind up our wounds....
Let us acknowledge the Lord;
    let us press on to acknowledge him."

Return, heal, acknowledge, press on, and Do Good... cause that's what my Daddy would have wanted.  Happy birthday, Dadaw... I can't believe we've made it 6 months without you here.