Saturday, November 24, 2012
A Surrender in the Night's Air
The past month has been so tiring. I am exhausted. My husband and I took our family to see his ailing Mom a few weekends ago. It was a nice day and we took many family pictures. Barbara was most patient as everyone asked to have a picture taken with her. We knew, I think, that this was our last chance to do that. The following weekend I made a solo four hour trip north to visit my own parents and to take in my daughter’s college concert. Then, after preparing my classes for their week off over Thanksgiving break, I turned my attention to my daughter’s play, my husband’s own musical production, my son’s basketball games, and my other daughter’s weekend visit home with her friend Erin. I cleaned the house, baked sweets, cooked meals, brought supplies over to a fundraising event. I, next, got ready for a couple of days of teacher workshops before the Thanksgiving holiday. However, on the first teacher workshop day, something did not feel right. At first I blamed it on the chill of the building. And then I got my father-in-law’s email. My Mom-in-law, who had been battling cancer for quite some time, was having trouble breathing. Within minutes I was meeting with my boss to tell him of the situation and I secured the next day off for my husband and I.
Everyone, it seems, has a “birth story” to tell. It’s less common to hear a tale of someone’s death. But those stories can be most beautiful and worth sharing too. Barbara died Tuesday evening surrounded by her husband and three children. Earlier in the day I had gone to her side, stopping to hold her daughter, son, and husband in my arms, quietly promising Barb’s spirit that I would forever be there for them all. I kissed her forehead, once to say thank you for everything she had ever done for us, and once again to say goodbye. Although I want to preserve my memory of so much more, I am not sure I have the strength tonight to talk of everything that has transpired in the past 96 hours, but I will say now that, as sad as they have been, there have been many moments of magnificent wonder. God watched over us all this week, of this I have little doubt.
Taking myself outside tonight, I gave myself permission to cry, but then I realized that what I was doing in the night’s air had more to do with asking for help. I told God that I am scared. I am trying so hard to be strong, to be the good girl I have always tried to be, to be helpful and selfless and generous....and I just don’t know if I can do it. I am scared to fall apart. To do so would mean I would need to get back up again. And what if I can’t do that? Winter is coming. I’m going to need to pull on a jacket, grab a hat and some gloves when the night air calls me. To the outside I will go--to let a few tears fall at a time, to continue praying for strength and the courage to continue on in the faith that He will be there to pull me back up off the ground, each time I bravely surrender my burdens to Him.