Saturday, March 13, 2010
The Healing Season
Today, my son went to a friends 7th Birthday Party. It was at a bowling alley. Between the fun (and it certainly was) I took the chance to hold a bowling ball up to much check and check something.
You know how I check the size and shape and location of my emotional pain in my body? Well when I'm in real, deep pain, I often say it is about the size of a bowling ball. I checked and, just for the record, it is.
Kind of a bummer. I was hoping that I was sort of exaggerating or had a skewed image or the pain. Truth be told, it's about the size of a bowling ball-almost 11 years later.
The other night, I was walking with my very good friend, Andra. She's also an orphan. When I met her, 14 years ago, she was already living without her parents. I had no idea how she did it. She was,and is, brilliant and funny and hip and kind. I was baffled by a person being able to function, and more than function, thrive, excel, set the pace, after suffering such a loss as her.
We were traffic reporters together. I was working on the same shift as Andra when the truth of my parents death was coming to light.
The call that warned me that there may be a problem, came at 4:00 a.m. from my friend, Rob. He's a morning show producer, at the time, in Cincinnati where my parents lived. I answered the phone and on the other end was Rob. He said, "You might want to call your parents. There's been a tornado near their house."
"I just spoke with Mom last night," I said. "I'll call her a little later."
"No," Rob said, "you should call now. It struck the high school right up the block from them."
I called and the phone rang and rang and rang and there was no answer and no answering machine.
I went to the traffic office because there are a lot of phone lines and the close connection to the news station seemed like the best outlet for finding out where they were.
Over the course of several hours I was told that the house was fine, damaged and unknown. I was told that the people in my neighborhood were at the community center, the hospital and unaccounted for. I was so tired of answering the question "what is the address?"
Finally, my brother (who was living an hour from Cinci in Dayton) arrived home and called me to tell me that our parents had died.
I was in a busy room full of open mic's that were getting ready to do live feeds to radio stations across Detroit.
I couldn't scream.
I rose from my chair.
I started to walk to the bathroom and before I could make it, a pain like labor pain in my womb, struck me so strongly it brought me to me knees.
Andra was there and suddenly we shared more in common that anyone in the room or in my world besides my own brother.
We were walking the other night and we were talking about this brokenness and the bowling ball in my chest. Andra asked what the size of the pain now and the size of it when I first lost them years ago.
I said that in the first year or so after the tornado, I felt like I could barely attach ankles, feet a neck and a skull to my void. She pointed out the progress and I am so very thankful for that.
She also suggested that the times of pain, panic, desperation and sadness that we feel and only a part of the who picture. She used the metaphor of a record (remember records?). She said, "think of those moments and that part of who you are as one little groove on a much bigger record." Like I said, Andra in brilliant.
It's just hard, when the record gets stuck.
Lord, I know that you are good all the time. It would bless me to see your goodness in my loss. Father, I know that your ways are not my ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9) I confess that I still these years later wish things were different. I invite you into my confusion and my despair. Grow my understanding of your goodness and meet me in my loss so that my healing may be complete.
Thank you for good friends.
Thank you for the fact that you have given me the truth of Jesus so that I know that this life is not all about me. It's about you. That's the better choice, for sure.
Father, I adore you and I lay my life before you. How I love you.
Job 10:12-13 (New International Version)
12 You gave me life and showed me kindness,
and in your providence watched over my spirit.
13 "But this is what you concealed in your heart,
and I know that this was in your mind:
Posted by Shannyn Caldwell at 3:54 PM