Hi, everyone! Didja miss me? I know, I’ve been lax. I’ve heard a few grumbles about my blogging habits lately, and the past week has been abominable. I had some good reasons. The Thanksgiving preparations, my grandfather in the hospital, people who need me here or there. But the truth is it isn’t busyness that’s kept me away.
Usually, when I blog, I sit down to my computer, and an image from my day floats to the surface. I snag it and write it down, and that’s what I have to show you that night. But right now my days are a jumble, a mosaic of joy and pain and I don’t know where to look first.
My grandfather, who has always seemed like an extraordinarily powerful, gentle person, looks to me like a man who is dying. I don’t know if he is, no one knows for sure, but something in his eyes reminds me of my Grandpa Max the last time I saw him. It was Thanksgiving, fifteen years ago, and Grandpa Max told me he didn’t think he’d see me again. He died Christmas Eve. Grandpa Joe doesn’t have the same awareness, but there is a distance in him - as though part of him is already elsewhere. Another part of him is panicked, and I wish I could take his hand and comfort him somehow. He loves me, but he’s beyond my comfort.
Grandma is aware of him slipping away, sliding out from underneath her hand, and she can’t even find the words to express her terror. 62 years they’ve been married, how can there be words for that?
My mom, who is my best friend, is in the middle of this storm. She stands there, in the midst of her parents’ pain and fear, trying to help them, while her own emotions wash over her. She comes home and sits silent, while it all works its slow relentless way through her heart.
And at the same time, I am falling in love. His name is Clay, and I don’t know why I wouldn’t tell you before. Those who know us already know we’re seeing each other, and those of you who don’t know us…well, don’t know us. But he is here. I’m sometimes speechless at this gift in my life. I honestly didn’t think I’d ever be here again, and if I’d dreamed of it, I didn’t think it would be this sweet.
So I’m bringing him into the boys’ life now, and standing back to see where those pieces fall. Just because I love all of them doesn’t mean they will all fit together easily. I can’t orchestrate those relationships, so I watch and pray. There is no escaping the fact that my sons’ father is gone, leaving them with an ache and an anger and a need. Any man who comes too near them is going to be subject to some complex feelings.
All of this is happening simultaneously, and I just don’t know where to look. I have no single image to hold up to you, to show you and say, here. This is what my day was like.
In the words of a song I heard the other day, “I love this crazy, tragic, sometimes almost magic, awful, beautiful life.”
In other words, life is hard. God is good.
In other words, please bear with me as I muddle through.