My little sister sent over some pictures of Trent the other day. They came on a good day, a smiling day. I didn't even cry over them, until I saw Brenda and tried to thank her.
Grief is such an unpredictable monster; silently sleeping some days, roaring other days, lying under the surface threatening to burst often times, paralyzing to the whole mind and body when it wants to be. We were discussing the other day the physical pain of grief itself. There is a literal aching in my arms to feel Trent again, and my chest is constantly sore, probably from trying to hold it all in, and then finally letting it out. The exhaustion is overwhelming as well. I try to protect from "extras" as much as I can so that I can just commit myself full time to this process.
I strive to remember that it is God Himself who has ordained the pain, the ache, the memories. Maybe the pain is just a taste of the curse of sin that I have spent my whole life getting used to, and now am seeing just a touch of the reality of that fatal first bite (Genesis 3).
Pappa Murphy's about did me in the other day. It should not be that difficult to walk in and order a family size Canadian Bacon with black olives and a cinnamon wheel. But after the young man took my order I had to turn around and study the menu lest the tears start. And then the stuffed pizza options taunted me even more. I've never ordered alone at Pappa Murphy's. There was always a young boy, with his swagger and Ken-doll locks, who opened the door and stood by my side as they made our Cowboy pizza. I didn't let the tears fall until we were driving down the freeway in the dark, with the radio turned up, with a teen-age girl by my side holding the pizza on her lap instead.
But then an hour of sweet conversation followed. Promises amongst the pain. Hope through the tears. Eternities ahead to forget these struggles. A Savior to look forward to. A God who ordains all things perfectly.
I've smiled the last two days. Smiled for a son in heaven. I take the days as they come; one at a time. I can't live them any other way. Deer hunting opener and big, hungry guys in orange suits will come when they come. And if they all sit around my table eating chili, but not taco soup, this year and we all cry~ so be it. Big brothers have big shoulders. They loved him, too. When Thanksgiving comes and there's an extra seat at the SPOONS table, and nobody is on that end to catch the flying silverware, and we all sit and cry~ so be it. Maybe we'll laugh, too, and pretend that he's teaching David and Gideon how to play. I can't go so far ahead as the annual "Wisconsin tan/tattoo revealing" December swimming party, either, or the following Christmas celebration at Grandma's house. That day will come when that day comes.
I was paralyzed by the fear in the middle of the night last night. Sheer panic. What if I wake up one day and God's grace isn't sufficient? Prayers, pleas, and promises go through my mind. And then God answers a specific request, and Rob rolls over and holds me. Maybe he was scared, too. Maybe he was reaching, too.
But then there are days that I dance. Like David, with all my might, I dance (2 Samuel 6:14). It doesn't matter who's watching. It doesn't matter if they understand the dance or not. The music is playing triumphantly; maybe there's even a trumpet I hear in that band. A choir of angel's are singing. So I dance; I dance before my King.