Tuesday, December 5, 2017


is about to be

dumb even,
as my nearly five-year-old grandson would say.

(Nearly five years old.
Lord, have mercy!)

This is a step, though,
and one that I must take in order to take the next step forward.
(Don't ask me which step it is, though,
as it's been some time since I studied on all that.)

The thing about this is that before I can go any further forward,
I must go back a few.
I must review.
I must confront.
I must acknowledge.
And then maybe I can deal.
Deal like a real person, and not like some character in a play.

That tree has been up for four days without lights.
There's a scattering of other Christmas decor just beyond view.
There are groceries on the counter, and yes, even some frozen ones that should have been put away minutes and minutes ago.

But I have reached critical mass.
I must either do this or crack open like a wasted acorn* and lie forgotten and decaying in the moss.

(I've read some stuff this last couple of years.  Like, REAL stuff, and it's left in me a deep and mournful yearning to say beautiful, painful things that might cause your bones to ache.)

(first pang.)

(This is going to be more for my own sake, apparently.)

"Walk through these gray days oneself as an announcing messenger.  So many need their courage strengthened, so many are in despair and in need of consolation, there is so much harshness that needs a gentle hand and an illuminating word, so much loneliness crying out for a word of release, so much loss and pain in search of inner meaning.  God’s messengers know of the blessing that the Lord has cast like seed into these hours of history." Father Alfred Delp

I saw this posted in my ig feed this morning along with, 

"Words matter.  Especially now." Kimberly Coyle

People keep telling me to write.
They say that I should, that I can, that I underestimate my ability.
Again, though, I've read some STUFF, and it's left me feeling smallish.
I must acknowledge, though,
that feeling smallish is an affect of my affliction.

Sometime this year, I was diagnosed with poly-inflammatory arthritis.  I remember how confused my doctor looked when I kept saying, "oh, thank goodness."  I was really just glad to know that something real and not imagined was happening, grateful that I had not accidentally written a chronic illness into my story.  (You ever done that?)  I wonder now if that initial reaction might have affected some of his choices regarding my treatment plan.  (No need to elaborate.)

I guess this turns out to be not a great thing to have since every time I tell someone older than me that I have it, they give me the sad and sympathetic groan, as if my entire future will be dimmed in comparison to the role that this thing will play.

Right now, I'm getting it.  Like, I get it.  I'm having a flare-up.

[(Look, right here, what I want to do is insert 
some kind of frou-frou text image 
and maybe a swollen middle finger, 
but I'm supposed to be better than that.)  
(I'd probably do it anyway if I had time.
Just to be entirely honest about it.)]

The arthritis thing is real, and it's coloring the background of everything else.
Until it takes its place, center stage.

Truth is, it's been easy to ignore, to do what they say, to take what they prescribe.
There's been So Much else to think about...

This is my story, and no-one else's, so who even should remember all the other things?
Like, do you remember that I used to write a Christmas post which included a family picture?
After that very first year, I knew that taking the picture of my family all together on Christmas morning would be a long-standing and severely important tradition.

Truth is, I wondered that very first year about who would and who would not be in the next year's picture.

On Christmas Eve of 2015, my mom and I sat with my little sister, my only sibling, as she left this world.  I drove home that night, made breakfast the next morning, and took a picture.

Last year, I did not travel, but stayed quiet through the holidays.

(first tears.)

On Christmas morning, I made breakfast for my family, and I took the picture.
I could not write the post, though I've mental-ed it out all through this year.

(now I've lost it.)

I feel bad for all your sakes for what I'm about to write, but I can't not do it.
[(A part of me is hoping nobody reads this.)  (Not a first.)]
I feel especially for those of my family who will feel this all so fully,
like an ache down deep in the bones.

I wish
I wish I could skip this, but I've held in so much.  I've kept so many words for so long that I have to wonder if I really have some diagnose-able, tangible, recognizable condition, or if this pain is really just the essence of words not said.

I lost a nearly four-year-old grandson this year in a tragic accident.
God bless his daddy and his momma and his cousins and all his other grandmas and grandpas, all his other family, all those who knew him and know the void he's left behind.

God help me, how will I take a picture this year?

I just will.

God help me, I will do it.
I will do it for those of us still here.
I will do it for Joshua.
I will do it for Jenny.
I will do it because it's Christmas.
We're celebrating the birth of Jesus.
And it is because of Jesus that I will see them again.


Their lives, our lives, these words ... matter.  Especially now.

[going to put away my (wasted) groceries now.]

*As I proofed this, the analogy of the cracked seed came alive for me.  Cracking open, of course, is not the worst thing that can happen to an acorn.  No need to elaborate.


Angela Montondo said...

My sweet friend - my heart hurts with you. Can't even imagine how hard ( such a small word in this context) this must all be for you..for your family. I love you and will keep each of you in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Prayers for peace, healing and strength for you and everyone involved. Grief and loss so hard to deal with and can be so damaging if not dealt with correctly. God is really the only way it can be survived without major life altering situations. Heal the broken hearts and minds God. Peace, joy and super natural strength in the name of Jesus.