Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I Am a Prickly Pear

Two weeks in a row now I've offended people at church. One poor guy had the bad luck of innocently asking me, "How's it going?" And I think he meant it sincerely, but all I could think was, What do you mean??? How the hell do you think it's going? I answered meanly through tears, "I don't think you really want to know how it's going." Most recently I ran out of the sanctuary sobbing--sobbing--just because someone asked me what was wrong when they saw me crying.

I hate church. I hate church because Mark should be there. On Sunday mornings we'd go to church and all disperse to youth group or Sunday school, then we wouldn't see the kids again until the coffee time in the dining room before the service. Mark would sit at a table with his friends. And then he'd sit with friends in the sanctuary. Now I can't find him. I look around the dining room and he isn't there. I look around the sanctuary trying to do a head count of my kids, but I come up short.

I love church. The people in our church feel like family. They've shown us love and compassion beyond measure. We have five pastors on staff at our church, and four of them were at our house the morning Mark died. Other people from church have reached out in very loving, tangible ways. You couldn't find a better example of a group of people living out the love of Jesus than the people of Elim.

But I'm sure I'll offend someone next Sunday. I can't seem to get through a Sunday without doing so.

I hate church. I love church. I am a prickly pear.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Band concert

There's a high school band concert tonight.  The 10th graders are dedicating their portion of the concert to Mark.

This should have been one of those days when I rush around making sure everything is in order and everyone gets where they need to go--band uniform pieces all present and accounted for, dinner served early, get Mark to the high school early, run to the junior high for a quick meeting, back to the high school for the concert.

I'm not at the high school band concert.  I'm here at home crying, crying as hard as I did the day he died, asking questions with no answers.

Mark was buried in his band uniform pants because they were the only dress pants he had that fit.  I never did hem them.

This is only the beginning.  What am I going to do on the night the class of 2017 graduates?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

He's everywhere


The reminders stop me in my tracks:

The dirty sock among the dust bunnies under the couch.

The extra part for the cheese cutter in the junk drawer in an envelope labeled in his handwriting.

The book he lent me to read, the one about prehistoric sharks showing up in modern day, the one I had no intention of reading but will now just because it was a book he enjoyed.

The winter jacket hanging by the front door, the one I can see him in.

The Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon sitting on top of his dresser, the one he saved up for and bought with his own money and then spent hours building.

A textbook with his name written in the front and the school year "2014-15."

He's everywhere. But he's not here.