Sunday, August 30, 2015

Grieving a House

Sometimes I'm sick of grieving. I'm sick of crying. I'm sick of feeling the absence. I'm tired of remembering days when I was too tired to even open my eyes. Grieving my POTS feels like it will never end. Grieving my mom's passing has only just begun. I went to a wedding and couldn't make it through dinner. Biting my lip, bitter, embarrassed, I fled to the nearest ladies' room and cried. My mom will never be mother of the bride.


I intended to write a post about the silly but necessary world of online dating. A dear friend recommended I chronicle all my first dates of 2015 .... and perhaps include a summary in this year's Christmas card? :-) I set out a few minutes ago to cheer myself up. But perhaps some days are meant for grieving. For listening to cello solos and Beatles ballads and making sure you're replenishing the water that is racing down your face, so tidy, single file.

Today we said our last goodbyes to my grandparents' house. It has been sold. It has been cleaned up. It is cavernous and empty. It is ready for its new life as someone else's home. I struggle to find words to express the sadness and betrayal stirring in me. It's like losing my mom all over again. You're relieved that your grandparents won't have to worry about the upkeep of a big house anymore. You're proud of them for all the work they've done to make this enormous life change happen. But then you're in the driveway and you realize THIS IS IT. You will never, ever be in this driveway again. Pictures of your mom and aunts will never hang in this house again. No more Christmases. No more Fourths of July. The end has come to this childhood constant. As my sister and I waved and drove away, I erupted, bawling, thinking of all the memories my mom would be sharing if she were here. I'm realizing my grandparents, I predict, will never have an Illinois address again. On Tuesday they will drive back to Florida for the last time. They will stay in their home there. They will visit us, and we will visit them. But the hearth and home where we'd always gather, our headquarters, is no longer ours.

Just another lump of coal in the fire of my grieving heart.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Netflix and growth

I think I have a Netflix addiction. (shrug, whatever, I'm a millennial, who doesn't?)

I think I have a Netflix addiction, and it's affecting my writing. In that I need to write, but I don't, because I'm watching another episode of [fill in the blank] or catching up on all the R-rated movies that came out when I was a kid, or sitting through two-thirds of some Indie crap hoping it'll get better aaaaaany minute now...

Time to turn off the TV. Time to tune into myself. Time to invest the hours in thoughts, in words, in skills, in experiences that will shape me more than another season of Cheers will. (Norm!)

No. Yes, well. Away from the norm, and into an exercise of will. Write every day. Write publicly at least once a week. Go.

Today in church we started a series on anxiety, which proved to be quite timely given that at the end of the sermon our beloved pastor, Trey, announced that he and his husband, on account of his job, will be moving at the end of 2015... to the United Kingdom. Gasp. WHAT?! Speak truth, girl, I am pissed off. I'm sitting there thinking, "Are you kidding me? I just joined this church! I'm just figuring out my call now! That's pretty stinky of you to leave with hardly any notice, and to another country?! Well fine because I wouldn't want to visit you anyway." Four Kleenexes later, we're invited up for communion, and I just about don't take communion because I'm so mad at God for taking away such a terrific leader. With more than a modicum of attitude, I approach the communion station where Trey is NOT serving, and Mickey hands me a GIGANTIC piece of bread. I laugh.

Isn't that so like God? When I don't want even a piece of Him/Her/Them, She offers that much more of Herself. "I know you're hurting. My heart grieves right alongside you. Take an extra helping of Me. I will sustain you."

I light a candle and pray, with swear words, for the transition we are all facing.

Grief is a strange and sometimes familiar thing. You cry. You process. You avoid thinking about it. You throw your Bible across the room. You pick it up and put it back on the nightstand. You think about other jobs or friendships or situations where you left people hanging and you wonder if they're still pissed at you too. Or maybe they don't even remember you!

I hope we can all grow from this change. I have hope that our church will continue to grow and thrive and set the world on fire with God's love. But right now, I'm feeling my feelings. As T.J. Dettweiler would say, this whomps.

But perhaps something greater will grow out of it.