I've been asked a lot in the last week how I'm doing by my good friends. Thank you for caring so much about me and my family. One thing I know for sure about this life is that I have wonderful friends, and I am not alone. That is a comfort beyond measure.
Here's how I'm doing: I feel as if my heart has been broken into a million pieces and all that is left are shards of glass. Many of you know our family's circumstances, some of you don't. But, I bet you know what is like to suffer a loss that is so tragic that it just knocks the air out of your lungs. I found out about our loss alone, at an airport, after having a car accident (no injuries to me, minor to the car) with a bag of overpriced, fried, airport food in one hand and the phone in the other. Fortunately for me, the other end of the phone was the voice of someone who loves me. It could have been worse.
I don't know how long I sat on the carpet at my gate crying. But, eventually, I got up. I asked for my suitcase to be removed from the plane. Then, I systematically shoved onion rings in my mouth while weeping, still on the carpet. What can I say? Food is my friend in the best of times so you can imagine...
As I drove home from the airport to my family, I may very well have powered the car with my fury. I became so angry about the injustice of our situation that I felt my whole body clench and my vision sharpen as I flew down the expressway. The clarity that came with my anger was a welcome distraction from the incredible sadness I had experienced at the airport. At least with the extreme tension I could accomplish my one goal...get home.
Today, I woke up utterly wrung out. And numb. I alternate between exhaustion and nothingness, anger, and being okay. It seems like there is no happy medium with grief. You're either doing just fine or you walk through your day in a heavy fog. Consider me Seattle right now.
It's almost like living in an alternate universe...a different reality; there's the one that existed before the events that changed your life and the one that now exists. And you wish you didn't know the things that you now know. I wish I didn't know that in the place I once called home and loved to work, the judicial system is nothing more than a mockery of the values we hold dear as American citizens. I wish I didn't know that a bunch of good ole boys disguised in nice suits and a judge's robe are so untouchable and corrupt that they make up the rules as they go, and don't seem to care who knows about their incestuous relationship. I wish I didn't know that the media is just as guilty of injustice, spitting out whatever gossip the prosecution spoon feeds them and calling it news.
Most of all, I wish I didn't know that you can have the faith of a mountain and still be unable to move a damn mustard seed. I wish I didn't know that you can pray until tears stream down your face for the righteous and watch the corrupt prosper at the end of the day. I wish I didn't feel so frightened and confused about my faith for the first time in my life.
I can't deny God's presence in my life at this moment. I feel him with me. Calming me and quieting my mind. Building me up and steeling me so that I can go on with my daily life and be of use to my family. But I'm not ready to meet him here. He is like the boyfriend that I still love but am not speaking to. Not that I'm expecting him to explain himself to me any time soon.
I would love to wrap this post up for you with a bow in a nice neat package. You know that I am a sucker for a silver lining. Right now, the best I can do is tell you that we are putting one foot in front of the other and living one moment at a time. I love my brothers so much; the one I inherited through marriage and the one that I grew up with. They were both late bloomers and were well worth the wait. They spit out these little nuggets of wisdom; kind of like a fortune cookie. Here was my brother's advice to me today: "Don't confuse the terrible stuff that's going on around you with your smart, beautiful daughters and your healthy husband. You have a wonderful family."
Where does he get this stuff? I said, "That's some Mr. Miyagi sh%* right there!" He is right, as usual, and I will do my best to remember it.