Remember that for which you toil…
I have had a few people ask me a question of late, “So why are you having a hard time?” Or, “Why are you having a hard day?” The inquiry posed as result of my answer to the inevitable salutation, “how are you doing?” I find it quite difficult to express the why and the wherefore of my hard days, mostly because it takes a lot of energy for me to share my intimate feelings verbally (which is why this blog has been a healthy outlet for me). So yesterday when a good friend who has two healthy sons asked the “why” question, the best answer I could muster up the strength to state is, “because my son is not coming home.” A simple, yet profoundly difficult reality I am facing.
Now it is said that “misery loves company”, but I have discovered this is not true for me. I am quite happy when a friend, acquaintance, or stranger cannot identify with my present lament. I gratefully acknowledge their place of ignorance with a welcomed relief. When I am presented with the consolatory “I can’t even imagine what you’re going through” catch-phrase, I joyfully reply, “That is good. You shouldn’t even try.” I wish no sorrow upon another, no loss too profound to bear, no kinship with this road upon which I trod.
Bring me your babies. Celebrate with me your happiness. Invite me to your milestones. Crack a joke. Share a pastry. Brave the sorrow of my soul, and keep me tied to the beauty of the living.
The other day I was in our back yard, loitering around my son’s room. It had been raining for a couple of days and I was out in-between a break in the clouds. It was cold, wet and breezy. As I stood in the gloom of the day, looking at the foliage of our back yard, a little bee perused the blooms on the Bird of Paradise. It was an improbable attempt at gaining nectar but there the little guy was, in the wet and cold, taking the brief opening of the clouds for the potential opportunity it provided. And there I was cheering him on with an audible voice, “Best of luck to you, little bee…go get ’em.” I then chuckled at myself for speaking out loud to a bee. And I wondered, does that make me crazy? The fact I talk to bees?
Well I’m sure there are several people out there who could argue the status of my sanity for many more plausible reasons than insecta articulation. As for my own self assessment, I have determined that talking to bees does not make me crazy, but is rather a simple method of staying connected. Connected to life while living with sorrow.
I do not need one to be kindred with my pain. I am quite happy my friend has two healthy and strong young men for her to continue to guide. My response was merely to help her gain insight into my hard day.
My child is not coming home. Do me a favor and don’t let that statement sink in!