I say that with a heavy heart and a tear stained face. I promise that hell or high water I will come back soon with some lighter material. But this is life. It is both joyfully simple and painfully complex. It is full of both easy smiles and breaking hearts. Today, I will say that my heart is a little more on the breaking side. But that's okay. Mercifully, gracefully, there is a warmth wrapping around me that tells me someone has control of it all.
B just died. It took him about 20 hours of labored breathing. I hope the morphine worked. His mama and brother were by his side. I stood outside the room watching the monitor, secretly hoping it was wrong, willing the lines to show a stronger heartbeat, any heartbeat that couldn't be explained by a reflex. But it wasn't to be. And that's okay. The world is so certainly emptier without that big, booming personality in it. I am a tiny bit emptier without the joy of that guy's smile gracing my Grady days. But it is okay.
Today I learned that one of my closest friends has had a dream put on hold. She is also continuing to deal with hell in her family. I ache for her sadness. I want her to get the peace she so deserves in her family. And I want her to realize her dream of serving in a war-torn country. They need her. She needs them. I need for her to get a reprieve, a pass in the roller coaster that is her particular cross of suffering. But it is okay.
Today I packed a care package for a young family who lost their daddy in Afghanistan. I don't know them. But I know that when my best friend called to tell me that her friend, a dad of 2 with a pregnant wife was killed, my world stopped. I didn't know the family but the sound of my friend's voice that day will haunt me forever. I cry immediately, just thinking of the agony, the terror, the raw pain in her voice that day. I am ridiculous thinking that my stupid package will do anything for this family, but I need that mama to know that I think of her. On the days when she is breaking up fights between her boys and changing diapers and so desperately needs her teammate, I hurt for her. I pray for her. It is okay.
Today (it's been a helluva day) I found out someone else I don't know lost their son, a young marine. I wish there were more degrees of separation between this person and I but the connection is likely very close. I can't go into it further here but I am sad that this kid died. I am sad for his father. And, honestly, I'm sad for myself. But it is okay.
I have warm, almost comforting tears slowly streaming down my face. They are filled with sadness for people I know, for people I don't know, for myself. But they are warm too, reassuring. Because all day, every minute of this ridiculous day, I have known that I am wrapped up in the strongest arms that ever were. I feel so safe, so okay. I know that every day of B's life was planned and orchestrated by God. I know that my friend's family is being refined every day and that her turn at joy is quickly coming. I know that 3 little babies who miss their daddy have good days now too and that somehow, they will endure this awful time. I know that God was there during every decision that shaped my life and that He will continue to be there every day as I come to terms with how those decisions affected so many. It really is okay. It is joyfully and mercifully and blessedly OKAY!!!
Tonight I will go to the river with my dog and my husband and my baby and say a rosary along the bank. Hopefully I'll get a breeze in this crazy heat but I kno that with every Hail Mary, every movement of my fingers over those beads, I will be even more assured that we are all, truly, truly okay.