Thursday, May 01, 2008
Death, Loss, Crime & Punishment
An album cover from 1990, music that has strengthened me for decades.
For a Christian I am always strangely and deeply troubled by death. It is simply too final for my mind to comprehend. Sometimes I feel as if the intelligence I might have once possessed causes me to over question God or is it because I'm always in the midst of tending to so much? I'm also acutely aware that I could do none of this without God, and without my deep faith I'd have been destroyed long ago.
CW, turning 12 this morning, asked me, "What's the first question you'll ask God in Heaven?" I was stumped, thinking of God having millions of rude people like me clamoring for answers.
Likely all this won't matter when we get there?
My face was swollen up like a pumpkin, my eyes red, bloodshot and puffy when the kids came home yesterday. We all tiptoed around, this has taken its toll on everyone. My best friend, Emily, once pointed out to me, nearly 20 years ago, that fortunately I process through my emotions quickly. That's always been strangely comforting to me, knowing I won't cry forever.
Fabian wanted leftover lentils, not tuna and noodles for dinner, looking to pick a fight with me, but I surprisingly acquiesced to his demand, immediately putting him off balance. He sat down to eat and started crying hard at the dinner table. I got him to his room and I joined him in tears. We sat there and sobbed as I'm thinking - this is progress - years past we'd have been in a huge blow-out and this issue wasn't about either of us.
No one made it to church for Wednesday night youth group.
I'd gone into the grocery store after court, sunglasses on, praying I wouldn't see anyone I know. Tuna was 75 cents a can, I picked up 16 for the casserole. When I got to my truck, there was a can rolling around under the groceries and I didn't know if I'd paid for it so I took it back into the store and gave it to the cashier, explaining what had happened. I truly believe God's in the little things also. I don't want to be left out of heaven on a technicality. "Girl, you stole a 75 cent can of tuna!"
Of course when I got home and looked at the receipt I realized I had paid for it, I'd paid for 16 but only brought home 15. Oh well, in the grand scheme of things...
Just as the judge called us up front there yesterday I overheard the deputy telling the P.O. that Ed ___ had died last night. This was not unexpected, but he was someone we'd been praying for as he'd had a backhoe accident recently, the husband of a friend of mine, the two of them had driven over last month, chatting in the driveway with me while looking for some land for all his equipment.
Immediately upset, facing a heartwrenching ordeal, I chewed on the inside of my mouth, trying not to cry over my son's consequence, knowing what was ahead in this plea agreement.
And then it was over.
Like an automaton I blindly went to my truck, stopped at the grocery store, came home and flew outside to my Gethsemane, my garden, and cried for four hours until the kids came home from school, holding it together until supper when Fabian brought me down, struggling all night, facing a bleak today, and wondering how to process all this in my mind.
When I last spoke to Ed he didn't know he only had a few weeks left to live, his accident hadn't yet happened and he was a very strong, active 67 year old man. What if he'd known? What if I knew I only had a few weeks? What would I do with my time?
Duh, I'd love my children like there was no tomorrow. Bigger duh - that's what I always do. I love them deeply and this is why our ordeal has been so tragically painful.
Why? Why? Why? Like a magpie chattering constantly, questioning God, second guessing myself, Monday morning quarterbacking, running through scenarios, wanting a do-over and feeling hopeless in the face of such odds.
If my children, all of whom face some degree of FAE, no one is the result of a sober, drug-free, planned pregnancy...most not even sure of their parentage...if they can never learn about behavior and consequences...will my life continually be grief filled as I struggle with the wrongdoings of those that were mis-wired at birth? How will they all ever survive? Or learn? Or get anywhere?
They were all victims of severe neglect and varying abusive environments. I have to help them all to work through their past and move on successfully. My full-time calling - 24-7.
Thank God that a particular P.O. was there yesterday in the closed courtroom. Yolie reminded me that God put her there for a reason. Truly I might not have made it through without her being there for us. She was very comforting, a dear friend from church when I really needed one.
Now I need to step back and work through all this, deal with the fallout and tend to the recovery of us all. Thank you all for your prayers and comments, they mean more than you will ever know...well we will all know all this someday. I can't wait for that big ole party I'm gonna throw in Heaven and invite all y'all. Even all of our wild children will be there...but they'll be acting right then.
Ed beat us there. So did my sister Ellen and many of our loved ones. There was one old Mylon Lefevre song. "Waitin' on Heaven" (remember that Sarah?) that's pounding in my head, soothing my frazzled nerves today.